Everything and Nothing

Month: February, 2014

Fiber One

This cereal looks like shit.
Literally, it looks like shit.
Brown lumps and specks wallowing in a shallow shit-tinted pool.
Why do you tolerate such a repulsive high fiber concoction?
Why is the world so cruel that the only way you are able to shit daily is if you eat shit daily?
???????????????

?

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Sunrise Sunset

She is thirteen and electric, a live wire sparking against concrete.  Her tongue unfurls around the hard stone of a curse word, and though she is catching fire so quickly it is hard to tell what is still pink skin and what has charred, the heat is not yet burning your fingers wrapped tightly in a circle around her wrist.  Five years ago, you were driving her to ballet lessons on Monday and Wednesday nights; you were bandaging her blistered toes. Overnight, her breasts have inflated, the ball of her belly has migrated north and south, spreading her hips apart like scissors.  Nothing about her is the same.  You have turned your head and blinked at the wrong second, and today, you recognize her only by her shadow; her eyes have shaded with understanding.  Today, sitting across the table from her, watching her, you are afraid for the first time.  You can see that the path she will follow will be scattered with darkened moons and heartaches.  That there will be ditches into which she will climb, lay down, and wait to die.  She will be fierce, yes, and unexpected, but for the next couple of years, she will also be a stranger that you will know like you know the beating of your heart, butterfly in your ribs, and you will turn her over in your fingers like a coin, searching for a seam.

Baba

My grandpa is making roti
He is sitting on the ground, in the sun, his dhoti is bunched around his knees
Billowing whiteness, set ablaze by the morning light
He’s floating on a cloud
A few simple ingredients–flour, water, a pinch of salt, a dribble of oil
He adds them one by one, with a practiced eye, to the worn steel bowl tucked between his legs
He pulls and kneads,
pulls and kneads.
Lovingly. Firmly.
The dough comes together, dry into wet into dry
Over and over, round and round in the same bowl that has birthed hundreds of rotis for hundreds of hungry mouths.
I notice a piece of lighter dough,
still flecked with flour, stretching and becoming part of the whole,
folding in on itself.  “Where did that piece go?” I ask.
kahin bhi nahin” he answers. “It didn’t go anywhere.”
He smiles through wrinkles, chuckles are lost in whiskers
I pretend not to understand,
but I get it. I know what it’s like
to be nowhere.