Dissection

Sushrut Jangi, 2005 Gerald F. Berlin Award Winner

Sushrut Jangi, 2005 Gerald F. Berlin Award Winner

by Sushrut Jangi, SOM ’09
Grand Prize 2005 Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Award

It is only September and already the leaves
scurry across the road like bold children.
Only September, and we have begun to see
the soft clockworks of ourselves,
the modest red and white of our hearts and our bones.

I don’t know how you lived.
I don’t know if your house was near the ocean
or if you loved the New England winters as much me.
I don’t know if you had a kitchen, where, early,
you might have sat with your husband
and eaten eggs and buttered toast and watched
the blue and white curtains dance at the window.

I’ve touched your hands and wondered
whose hand you might have touched
pausing on an evening walk,
under a canopy of oaks and lantern-light.
I’ve touched your hand and wondered
if you chose to bring a child into this world.

I don’t know your name
or the names you loved in your life.
But I know you had one as a child
when they called across a room or a field
and you ran to them and kissed them
because they knew and loved your name.

It is only September and what I used to think
were bones only a month before
I know now to be the map of a bright and sudden life,
the soft powder a butterfly sheds from its wings
before it arcs above the trees.