Two Poems
Nandini Dhar


Because Tombur wants to draw an atlas
             with every mark left by rising water,
every trail carved by every spider,
                 she spends her afternoons lineating
her pencils around the memories
              of that unnamed corpse:

two lines for the canal, three for the bridge.
          Trees stick figures in green.
Where in the vanished water to write
             the dead? Where in these lines
to write his gravestone?

             We know their names. Our neighbors
                        remember them. What we do not know
are the stories of why and how : stowed away, eclipsed, shrouded
                in between the notes and rhythms
                    of maiming music.

We learn quickly—Tombur
and I. That offerings of blood do not suffice
                         for the saplings to take root.

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