far away from home I am hungry

Urvi Kumbhat

After Jane Wong


We wake to find   our lives   have been quartered
We hold at bay the knife just a little longer
Such tedious operations in repair      We begin
to stitch           Downstairs my mother slices
a guava       How do I translate: its constellation of seed
tart white flesh            a quicksilver moon
This and every afternoon        There’s more
Roll the drums              This is the swarm
of a deathless summer
Boil       the water          fry         the bread

We bite into raw tomatoes in between meals
We sack the ripe curve of its flesh
We demand its red                   underbelly
Anthills of rice           My grandfather
making a hole for ghee             No one’s allowed
to not eat          There’s still so much       stitching to do
But in the meantime     someone grate the carrot
it’s time for halwa       Nani surveys the kitchen
We gather all the ginger            we can find
Someone claim the coconuts        gently crack open

their heads                     Someone pass the rotis
to the dog        Someone watch         the gravy
is boiling over now         We understand no love
that is not in excess              Here are thickets of sugar
Here are spoonfuls of kaccha aam to lacerate
your tongue          more please              Here we
hang on to the cook’s sari asking
oh when oh when oh when          Here our hands
become one with what we eat         Later we all
belch in private                          Fall asleep
our bellies swollen          hungry
for something else