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By Anamika Kumari

June— is a patient lover in my kitchen,

born peppermint out of the

February teeth marks around my breasts.

June, she folds around my tear-stained thighs

like a lost dweller in a cave-in churchyard,

clings to my lamenting bones as if

she could turn them into milkweeds.

June is a child in the back of my neon-pale bedroom,

holding me in her arms so I would stop struggling

for things that do not break me all through and through,

in her tiny baby hands, I am worm,

the bad apple— my whole world,

I have seen all there is see,

and I know nothing at all—

a tired woman, an unloved woman,

my mouth still tastes like the copper of loss,

but for June, I am new as the first milk,

first honey, when she is ready.

For June, I am a day measured in

prayers and coffee breaths,

how many spoonsful of sugar till happiness?

her love is wordless but she loves blindly,

runs around the house in her favourite white dress

singing Je te laisserai des mots, Je te laisserai des mots,

no one can understand what she says,

her teeth are still flowering,

but I know she wants me when she utters so,

I have been living in the past for so long,

time does not move when I come undone

looking for the God of small things that mean something,

who weeps for you as much as I do,

but today, June wants me, and today, I love her, too.

By Anamika Kumari

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