…but is it a prayer
or a whisper from the sky
decending upon us
like a gaping fishing-net?
Here they mix water with prayer
and drink slowly in measured sips,
to quench their thirsty soul
that sways like a dry leaf at noon.
The air’s humid, heavy with moisture,
the weight of muddy water in a ditch.
You bow and drink your reflection
from the slimy, slow-flowing mirror,
then wait for the freshness of night
to anchor itself on this unknown shore,
where the waves creep close in fear,
for all that hurried has long since gone.
Only the prayer’s thick whiff remains,
as if an ancient warning of weary boughs
that hang limp like empty gloves
over the closed palms of the water.
Kerala, India, 2016