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Winter 1998, Volume 15.1



Minal Hajratwala

Minal Hajratwala has published poetry in anthologies including Contours of the Heart, as well as in many journals, such as the Asian Pacific American Journal.


3/25/95, Michigan

See, the willow dips into the creek like a woman
washing her long hair in the sink, catching bits of her lover's stubble.

I learn languages from the tips of the tongues of the poets.
In learning to breathe, I listen to the wind.

The Germans, the loud Germans. I could never fuck a German.
My nightmares are of guttural vowels, an intolerable hungry blondness.

Beyond the high school, I dipped a jam jar in the spidery creek.
Under the microscope a watermite jumped, and I too.

All poetics is hunger. All names are one thirst.
And we fish drink of this same gulf all our lives.

1/1/95, Corralitos

A true friend is one who looks you in the eyes at the back of your head,
even when both are red with weeping.

In the glow of heatlamps or fireflies,
let us meet by the pool, and flicker.

We are the questions they cannot answer.
We are the answers they refuse to believe.

Plan your life around these barebone moments,
honest silences as deep as marrow, full of minerals.

When I fish for my supper, pond and sky respond,
Yes, Minal we are speaking to you.

1/22/95, San Francisco

Open your eyes, friend. Give up the green pretending.
Let's live only in the kaleidoscope of our communal dreams.

Three women sleep in a close circle, heads to feet. 
sharing blankets all afternoon. Dissolving into dreams.

Don't you crave the salt-fat taste of sausage, brie, dark gumbo?
And the sweet-fat of desserts, the creamy pale of dreams?

The neon fish are guzzling, we can hear them
getting drunker every moment on bubbles and algae dreams.

The only truths left are the ones we create. No one is to blame.
The whole soul of Minal is in this inhaling, these last and lasting dreams.


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