On a monsoon night, the moon curled

into the seventh house.

You were yanked like a weed, wet and cold.

A howl filled you with dark water,

you hollered a lung full of hurt.


They said there was no cure for bad luck.

They said it was the will of the planets.

They had the time of your birth

inked on a dead scroll like a life-sentence.


You walked on the shadows two steps behind the rest.

You bathed in moonlight, humming lullabies to the lilies. 


You unleashed the cumin, colored onions with saffron

cajoled the brinjal to fornicate with the tamarind.


Talk of your wicked fry splattered across the bazaar

like mustard seed on roiled oil.

Behind the kitchen curtain, unseen like the soot–

you became a legend of no one.

Published in Chicago Quarterly Review - Issue 24 © Ro Gunetilleke 2016