where the writers are
...in which we celebrate the Tamil New Year


She bends over daffodils,
clippers glinting in moonlight.

Bells harvested, she blots dew
in a wad of nightgown, slides
back into the house like a thief.

Her ponytail pantomimes a question,
but she already knows the answer—
the whole year’s luck depends on her.

She arranges silver rupees, an oil lamp,
the scripture on a mirror. The heater
cuts on and she jumps, holds her breath
until his evens.

Her palms slide down her throat
to her wedding necklace. She touches
the carved vermillion Ganesh.

Upstairs, an alarm goes off.
Pulling the chain over her head,
she kisses it like a Catholic
and drapes it on the mirror.

- from SAMSARA.