My parents keep praying
I only pray to make you stop
jerking them around like bait caught in a storm
red weight bobbing dense in the current.
And, sure, my father looks like a man to you now
with his hands turned upwards
empty and dry
but years ago
his palms were drenched
in the streets an Indian monsoon,
full of wonder.
the time between girl and woman
sinks like an anchor
in my neck and
my father mans the lighthouse, hungry and alone,
waiting for the shipwreck of my skull
to find its way back home.
it’s not right, armiya, it’s not right
He says when I turn from you again
my name no longer the same as he once gave me
as you once blessed to an angel
trapped on some page
you never wrote because
your hands are ash and
your mouth is phosphorus wet and
you’re nothing at all.
but still. I ask.
The morning my body
where were you?
I have been writing this letter from inside the crab cage.