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Original artwork by Katie M. Zeigler

राम नाम सत्य है


Karan Kapoor
Poetry

Mother died last night, 

Mother who never dies.

—Louis Glück

 

four men carry her on their shoulders

for her final pilgrimage

                                     beneath the white 

sheet cocooning her she wears white salwaar

kameez

                           cotton bud in each nostril

nothing of her visible anymore

 

rain silhouettes our bodies

                   washes the road             crackles

wires swinging between

                   poles and streetlights

 

wet asphalt reminds me

I am barefoot

                                 father chants

 

              rama nama satya hai

              rama nama satya hai

 

name of god is absolute 

name of god is absolute 

 

               everyone around us echoes

               into the wind

 

                even rain has a voice

 

memory of her heavy swollen body floats

into my mind

                                             all else seems a lie

 

                 the absolute truth an inadequate lullaby

 

I try to repeat              but my voice

is a bone                       stuck in my throat

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