ISSUE 3 · FALL 2009




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Copyright © 2009

Anindita Sengupta

The Kitchen God's Mistress

ANINDITA SENGUPTA

 

 

Did you always smell of cinnamon?

It reminded me of ma’s long-ago kitchen.

Mustard seeds. Mutton crackle. Hot air

condensed on window mesh while I shelled peas

on stone cool enough for sleep.

I should have barred the doors

 

when you nuzzled in

but a weakness for spices and memory

stopped me. Besides, I glimpsed

your feet, smooth and brown, with an arch

I could fit into. The night you drowned,

I was deveining prawns and drinking beer. I thought

 

it would be like any other night: we would eat

slowly and listen to the cicadas sing. Later,

they would leap indoors and crawl

under our bed where we lay side by side

in the dark, entering each other’s dreams.

 

I was so happy watching the kitchen

simmer in pools of light. How could I know

they would gulp you down without a ripple?

And who would have thought you’d be so

hard to pull out? You always looked so light

with your thin beard and gossamer cap.