Poetry & Prose

sun salutations

ART BY HELENA HU AND UNMANI TEWARI

Once I scratched a secret into my own palm
To get someone else to read it. No shame in my quest for attention
of the supernatural kind.
The things the light has done for me:
turned a lake into a mirror,
skipped off the surface of the water like a stone, and,
while glowing like glass, reflected the earth that pitched down around it,
wobbly flowers and shifty sticks stretching out from the soil
like open hands–
light has asked me a question without looking at me,
has cast its answer over me like a shawl.

In episodes of wakefulness, I reach for it.
This whole ordeal approaches the romance
of the snake and the snake charmer,
bound together in the inextricable knot of a song.

Still, I pluck the same worries out of my hair every morning.

Once I saw a black labrador rubbing its back on a mound of snow;
its movements were unnatural,
and it was just a plastic bag.
Illusion beyond illusion.