by Sally R. Simon
Curry and cardamom combine, a sea of cilia ripple the scent landing it full stop. Men with heads wrapped in tangerine and scarlet scarves offer Masala chai in miniature glasses as if they want to fill me with liquid spice, birth memories in me so I’ll return, swallow to a distant land. Hijab-cloaked women avoid my stare, reject my presence as if I’ll rub off. Men sitting cross-legged hawk their wares, eyeing a lone woman wandering down dirt drenched alleys. Oxen plod on cobblestone, dragging wooden carts flowing with okra and onion, almond-skinned teenagers dance abreast to keep pace. I watch women pray to elephant gods I do not know. I wonder how their breath can be my breath, their sky my sky. I want to press my palms together and mirror them, but my heaven is hollow. I want to saturate myself like a cloud, cradle the moisture before it morphs into rain. I am a drop of water clinging to a glass on a sultry summer day that lingers before it slides to the surface and makes a ring that someone wipes away.
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Sally R. Simon is a retired teacher living in the Catskills of New York State. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prime Number Magazine, Truffles Literary Magazine and Adelaide Literary Magazine. She’s also been known to write a play or two. When not writing, she’s either traveling the world or stabbing people with her epee. Read more at www.sallysimonwriter.com.