Fair and Lovely

by | Aug 10, 2021 | Issue Twenty Two, Poetry

we believed the neighborhood voices
that said fair was most beautiful

before they brought the ointment
turmeric, yogurt, and honey

your face was buttermilk
under the nightlight
that one sideways molar, a diamond

once you fit in your father’s palms
when you arrived
a pink lotus
an uncle kept you in his jacket
and ran to the paddy field
that year of the big earthquake
everyone wanted to save you first

your mother still remembers the milk
flowing through your throat
paper thin

the year you were the most beautiful
when you swayed as you left the house,
all eyes were orbiting moons

there, three streets split near the temple
deeyas around the gods
fireflies at worshipper’s feet
your face, wheat fair, they said

and you hid your teeth

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