I should not be here
for Meg Finney
Light whiskers through the keyhole.
On the other side there is a woman,
reading, her hair feather-fine,
or an old general, graying like a stone.
Maybe it is a young boy;
he flies a kite or collects bones.
I almost blind my eye
when I look through. It is the woman—
I was right; her solitude is cat-like.
Now she lifts a paw and licks it,
rests it down as if it were a hand,
watches the small spot of saliva,
and wonders why
I do not enter.
On the other side, something howls
mutely. I feel the door, cannot
decide if it’s leather or plain old
Aditi Machado's poetry has appeared in nthposition, Soundzine, Pratilipi and other Indian and international literary journals. She is the new non-fiction editor at Mimesis, and she won the Toto for Creative Writing Award in 2009, which is given to two Indian writers under the age of 30 ever year. Aditi lives in Bangalore, India.