A Hundred Gourds 2:1 December 2012
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Sonam Chhoki - Bhutan

The Banal Amnesia of Existence

almost dark --
a crow searches
an empty field

“You loved mandarins,” father says. “Fingers curled around orange crayons page-after-page in my office diary you conjured the tangerine orb. In joyful expectation you smacked your lips when I peeled slivers of the sun and placed them in your outstretched palm.”

He remembers. He tells me -

I remember in his words.

“In my fifth year at school,” I say. “You billowed out of the taxi in this gabardine mac. Ignoring baleful stares I raced across the playground and wrapped my arms around you breathing in the scent of shores glimpsed in your postcards home.”

I remember. I tell him -

But my words slip away like mercury in a glass tube.

He thumbs his prayer beads, click-clack, click-clack, click-clack in beat with bamboo fronds tapping the window.

ancestral house –
the full moon lights up
forgotten rooms


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