Ana & I & the sky

Ana and I and the sky have a cold. Clouds are hiding the remedy of the sun. I am grating ginger for tea, and birds are shedding feathers to warm us. Ana demands to go to the park so I take her to the park. Instead of the horse on the left, she sits on the back of the fish on the right. They swim across a river of grass. Out of the river, the fish falls into a coughing spell. Ana unzips her little bag and offers the fish a lozenge. She delivers the fish back to the river. At two, my daughter is writing a book of mercy. At home, I make her chickpea flour pancakes. Around midnight, she coughs in her sleep and an earthquake shatters Afghanistan. Tremors are felt here in this city two thousand kilometers away. The house snaredrums for thirty seconds. I google if that’s too long for an earthquake. Then, I pack our passports, iPads, the stuffed turtle Ana cannot sleep without, and the memory of the night I first made love to my wife in this room into a backpack. I carry Ana and her sleep in the crook of my arm. Outside, the trees sway like they’re high. The woman next door offers to put Ana in her car as we wait for the aftershocks to pass. I want to buy the rights for the Indo-Australian tectonic plates. I call my dad in Delhi who is drunk and did not feel the earthquake or has been feeling it for the last half hour. He passes the phone to mom, who says: Dinner without you tastes like October. The street empties as people go back to their TVs. I look to the sky. Another breath and the moon disappears. On our way up the stairs, Ana wakes up for a blink to sneeze one long river of song. I whisper, god bless you, then think of the day, say, god just did.

Karan Kapoor is an MFA candidate at Virginia Tech. A finalist for the Diode, Tusculum Review, and Iron Horse Literary Review chapbook prizes, their poems appear in AGNI, Colorado Review, the Cincinnati Review, North American Review, and elsewhere, fiction in Joyland and the other side of hope, and translations in The Offing and the Los Angeles Review. They're the Editor-in-Chief of ONLY POEMS.