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  • Akshi Chadha

Diaspora Diorama

By Akshi Chadha


sockless feet push into white Nike trainers

you got from eBay


with traces of a catalytic ocean every step

an awaking squeeze


of washcloths your mother made

tearing old cotton shirts


and put in your backpack when you

weren’t looking at the silver shadow


of your father’s face

before you disappeared onto the deck


the moon in full swells the tide

to touch a hollow sky


susurration alive in your ears like a seashell

wading through cliffed nations


to this entryway deep as a knee gash

a marshland that swallows each sole


here someone you know might have sat

cross-legged in a blast zone


you pat yourself to check for the conditional memo

half-wilted in the back pocket of your jeans


liquescent arms await rites of initiation

cold fingers twitch for someone to say


anything

a herd walks through you


the trained eye scans for kindred

in alien crowds and averts


before it can glimpse half a smile

before you slip into the cut.


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