Oh, India

Planting myself at Coffee Temple for hours
There would be no way for my milk coffee to get cold
The stifling heat siphoned the water right out of my flesh
Vertigo and bliss begin to take hold

I would light up a slim, inhale as I watched people grin
“How could you not be happy here?” he asked
He didn’t grasp that I was
Just not with him

Growing fond of smelling burning garbage from my window
Roosters crowing, a call to prayer can be heard down the street
Feet sifting swiftly through the scorching hot sand
As the rickshaw pulled up and I hopped in the backseat

Waving at me from the front
Reshma & little Ayyan greet me with a hug
She is making chicken tikka, dosa, and some raita
A small cup of chai that is far too hot to chug

We gather on the porch
We laugh and prepare to feast as we quickly approach twilight
Fruit bats swooshing overhead
Swooping low then soaring off into the ominous night

Up through the Western Ghats on our way to Ponmudi
Taxi passing unsteady buses on winding roads to Munnar
A home-stay complete with giant flowers and screeching monkeys
Wedding dance music can be heard from afar

Naan slapped onto the sides of the flaming tandoori
Red snapper prepared with cloves wrapped in a banana leaf
Oh, India, I dream of you every single night
Until we meet once again, my soul aches with grief

By Camryn Rebekkah

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