An hour before sunrise – Pavana Reddy

Illustrated by Garima Pura

Illustrated by Garima Pura

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.

 

The fishermen

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.

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