Ash

Antara Mukherjee

 

In your swell of a cream silk tussar,

itar-sprinkled, tuberosed, basil nosed,

I saw you leave,

awfully long,

before burning to ash

carried by the Ganges

like you could settle as the dust.

 

But your ash coursed through the rivers

lending your grit to fishbones

salt to the sea

pliancy to clay

and metal to the moon

that rose in the evenings,

ankling our spice-misted prism,

prodding us to look up

in the dark—

which you’d say, always

cusps into a dawn.

 

So, I had to look up, Ma

and I did

even when your ash moved my universe

to the ground.

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