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Winter 1998, Volume 15.1

Poetry

 

Aly Remtulla


Aly Remtulla (B.A., Stanford U) has published in the anthologies
Contours of the Heart and Geography of Encounters: People of Asian Descent in the Americas.

Kala Pani*

Clandestine meetings and
secrets sewn behind lips.
Records and memories
written in code—the
blasphemy that molds us.

Poverty in Gujarat, nothing
ties us to the soil. We plant
our sorrow and frustration,
but what grows is hatred.
Our knots have unfurled
and Mother India has
no more milk to feed us.

We must cross the kala
pani
, wash away our
dirty memories, and
dock on a new shore—

where we twist our tongues and
find solace in hidden mosques.
Nurture our tender roots
on the savannah
but only penetrate so deep,

always ready for
another journey.

*kala pani means black water or dark seas

 

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