My Neighbor is Homesick for India

She spreads herself like butter
Tilts her chin towards the moon
Plays a raga, hums the harmony
Vermillion color chips her brow
She saunters, like a sunbeam
Over the staircase, her sari drips
She tells me that in India
There was no loneliness
America is an archipelago
Where every human lives alone
Yet complains they have no privacy
She complains about the Northwest cold
Dinner is her daydream
She chops eggplant, onions, cucumbers
Lentils lay across the countertop
She dices, beats, bakes, slices
Boils the rice in rosewater
Dips her pinkie into the pan
Sucks the memories from her finger
Puts the kettle on
Asks me do I ever think of home
Asks me what’s the gossip
Says to me that people here are so unfriendly
Sprinkles hibiscus to the wind
Writes her wishes with the Bengali alphabet
Vows in her heart to never forget India
Her lipstick hanging off her lips
Like an offering.

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