An evening at Kathjodi River Bank in Cuttack
An evening at Kathjodi River Bank in Cuttack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember the Ambassador rides from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack
Your tussar sari draped around your shoulder
At home you would read files, make notes
“It is tough being a woman Secretary of Industries”
You had endometriosis
A fresh incision on an arterial vein
Never did you take a day off,
Never did anyone find out

In Rahurajpur they had an exhibition of handicrafts
You walked that muddy road appreciating, encouraging
“Don’t think in this life you have an entitlement to anything”
I lit your cigarette, “Indian women don’t smoke or drink”
“Or eat gutka with such relish”

“When I called my mother with a sick child she sent me 500 rupees with a note to buy Dr. Spock and read”
“When I called my mother with a sick child she sent me 10,000 euros with a note to lump it”
We laugh
An extension is another phone with the same number

When the river fills up it overflows on the embankments
The rivers in the veins bleed internally
Branches of brown form below bleached skin
Bruises form below our eyes
Then one day blood from all orifices
Clots on the floor trail as you walk

They asked Sexton not to say too much
Over whiskey and roasted almonds you ask me not to write it
A miscarriage should not be discussed
It is too much out there
Your son is your success
That was a failure

A pregnant woman changed her seat once she discovered I had miscarried
Shielding her stomach from my bad karma
I can’t forget her face

Women in our family have sloppy dilation does not make good dinner table conversation

Red wine sipped from a glass
I tilt it

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