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by Sangavi Deepthi
(Chennai, Tamilnadu, India)

I try to jerk off the good-bye in my palm lines.
They seem to be stuck on the fungus of my
smiles. But the men who visit me do it so well,
that seem to be grow along with the shame,
joy, desire and madness under their eyes.

I look at my palm, they look like the gates of
a graveyard. Oh I don't cry. But I release a
throaty laugh and spit on the bag of excuses
that the men leave behind. I wonder why
wouldn't I throw away the bag and then realize
that they make a perfect reflection on the
small mirror in that sad wall. The only prop
that understands me.

There is this one line in my palm that maps
all through my body. In a throbbing red.
It is my hunger! It runs around the cigarette
burns and the dried gashes, along the
sand dune like lymph nodes and stops at the
tip of my chin where my mother used to kiss
me. Now, I cry. The long palm line crushes
my entire frame in a sad hug.

I run and clutch the rails of the small window.
Half of my palm lines are lost there. When the
dusk beckons with an evil smile, I see that
mother again tucking a jasmine strand on her
little daughter's braid. There is a healing
fragrance from them. I pluck the jasmine from
my hair and fling it into the jaws of the night.

In the mornings I see a long queue waiting in
front of a tall transparent building. I see some
of them trade a broken yesterday for a smile,
many rushing to a tomorrow that stands at an
unknown distance, a few waiting for life to
happen and a few more pausing to rock the
baby called love. Neither can I see the building
nor do I belong in the queue. So when
someone calls to put mehendi on my palm, I
quickly run, before the long palm line begins
to throb again!


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