bhater mondo

Doyali Islam

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for my mother

 

my mother used to make little rice balls

for me. she steamed and clattered about the 

cramped mustard kitchen, filling a pot with 

water, swelling and salting and songing

the grains, plating them like planets longing

for some lost centre, chirping, my mother,

oshe made me small small bhater mondo.

 

one morning away from ringing school bells

in fourteen perfect globular mouthfuls

she fed me her story, and uncooked dreams.

and although my fingers cannot craft rice

they do cling stickily to the grain 

of history, ever remembering le monde—

the world of sacrifice between her hands. 

 

Doyali Islam, "bhater mondo" from heft

Copyright © 2019 by Doyali Islam. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019)