i. a warm hand open. two eyes night-shaped. fingers or feet having waved aside the tidal comforter. frogs had their feat last night. the way they started slowly with the first drop and built it up, note by note, like a slow sea rising. ii. you could tell the world had woken up. woken up broken up. a cabin. a scrabbling. breathing in the blackness. future fragiles as a fixture that might not survive the next move. iii. she found out her limbs were too short when the river reflected. dog always rounds her thoughts. iv. all night the children didn’t sleep because the elders acted like them in the courtyard talking about how dramatically their neighbor killed their neighbor with a stone, then a stone, then a stone. v. period fails. what I had been thinking a metaphor was a plea, too late to be run to now. While one eye stayed the other walked away. vi. The placards were, it was inferred, too plain to be real. The room was, it was revealed after experts were telephoned, not of National Library in Kolkata. The hand on head, a bother weighing his gaze down, was indeed a curator, but not one thwarted by work he was advertised to have grown weary of. The piles were indeed books, but not stacks that would wait passage to two nascent nations. vii. wilting is nature, we are happy without an end. viii. pause ruts. ix. Libraries weren’t amoebae. people were. x. the real disappointment is when you are brimful to say it all, you run breathless to a wall blank where what moves are shadows patching up the broken pools.
Rahana K. Ismail is the author of the chapbook Newtness released by Yavanika Press in 2022. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in the Yearbook of Indian Poetry in English, Penn Review, Usawa Literary Review, POSIT, Alchemy Spoon, nether Quarterly, Contemporary Haibun Online, Aainanagar, Aleph Review, Chakkar, Alipore Post, Last Leaves, Io Literary Journal (Refractions), Paradoxlit, Farmer-ish, Stone of Madness, Foxglove, Hakara, Qissa, Verse of Silence, Pine Cone Review, among others.