My Lord tips His head down toward a porcelain teacup,
held gently in even gentler hands.
The water not yet rippling with breath.
Eyes fixed over the rim on what remains.
Swaddled in a green sari, His youngest child
peers backward—left over her left shoulder.
She smiles at a face outside the frame,
a secret known only to herself.
My heart is a questioning thing.
If all six hands stretch forward, I wonder
if they’d touch. My brother kneels
before them both, eyes fastened on a wood slat floor,
one hand over his ribs, as if to shield
the air from leaping flames.
These three— my frozen family— live behind glass
between two bay windows in a room where I ponder death,
pinned every morning like a moth— not much struggle left.
My eyes linger on their faces each sunrise,
as if to partake in innocence,
in a pleasure they’ve somehow captured there:
mute— oblivious —
even to the possibility of an elsewhere.