Swati RanaPoetry / Number 93
Log, river bank’s studded and striped.
Eel river. Slipstream of river flowing
Northward round a bend. Friends and
Their temporary berth alongside
Trout, rainbow, cottony gills, red
Rot of blood and brilliance flushing
Afoot as double dragons fly one
Above another and land on our head.
Tandem linkage. Listen patiently
Try and inhabit outside houses this
Semblance of company. Something’s
Coming over the easternmost ridge
And sometimes it looks like pollen
Or like summer’s end, like purpling
Fall and dead dead winter. Brush
Wind tells, or we do and this large
Groundswell. Flash of sun between
Trees feels like a promise. Sand burns
Soles. A forgotten knife is reclaimed
By someone to whom it matters.
Found, unfound, the silvery stem
Of a garter goes to make dinner
In rockshade, under bank of feet.
Swati Rana was born in India and has called Ontario, New Hampshire, and California home. Her work has been published in The Asian American Literary Review, Wasafiri, The Dalhousie Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, and other journals. She teaches in the English Department at University of California, Santa Barbara.