It’s an hour before
sunrise in India right now
and the chai wallahs are releasing
their spiced coils of smoke
into the air to rouse the city.
have already disappeared
into the fog of the sea,
they drift in silence
as they listen to the prayers
echoing from the temples ashore.
Around the river,
the birds form the sickle moon
of an elephant’s tusk,
chiming songs as sweet as the bells
of a village wedding.
They say there is
a special energy in the air
the hours before the sun rises,
the breeze enters the body as a spark
and carries us throughout the day.
Right now it’s late afternoon
and we’re in bed,
our palms against the sun
as we filter slivers of dying light
across the sheets.
I’m told that in India
people do more before the sunrise
than we do in an entire day;
but I’m afraid that this morning
everyone will have to wait,
because the sun
hasn’t left our room yet,
we’ve got her trapped between our palms
as sparks dance inside the space
between your mouth, and mine.