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my mother’s dreams are

neon skies

peppered with pounded rice

and three different courses at ten.

they are jargons used in a French cook book;

the betel nuts tied to her sador’s aasol

breaking under the nut-cracker’s weight—

discarded pomegranate seeds.

my mother's dreams are dinner table accusations

of “where’s the salt?”

of “did you learn nothing at your mother’s house?”

of “this, again?”

my mother’s dreams are

overcooked meals;

the one time she left the stove on

and never returned—

a kitchen on fire;

charred wishes,

burnt food.

Sador’s aasol is the open, free end of the saree-like traditional garment worn by Assamese women along with the mekhela.

Anannya Nath teaches English to undergraduate students. Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared in Muse India, Rhodora, Feminal, The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, and Hall of Poets.

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