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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy
Birmingham, England, U.K.


Embers

Book in hand, face sullen, eyelashes wet and stuck together, your scowl deepens as I walk in. Your little back stiffens up and shrugs my hand off. As I gently rub your shoulders and soft cheeks, the tears start rolling down, hot and fast, searing my hands. I hug you close to my chest and say I am sorry. You are still angry.

"Did you know that I pulled TWO of my eyelash hairs out to wish that you would not shout at me? It DIDN'T work!"

virga—
the rising dryness
in my throat

I remember them arguing, shouting at each other—face to face, arms waving, eyes red. And I would get between them, looking from one to the other, making childlike sounds that had no meaning. What else could I do? None of the words in the three languages I knew made any difference. So I wished to be a baby again, babbling, blissfully unaware. It didn't work. Images of rolling dishes, tears, smears, screams, more fears flash past. I run to her, hugging her, crying with her. What else can I do?

dandelion fluff
again i catch a handful
of nothing


Note: virga is rain that does not reach the ground

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