The idiom of childhood seeps into this borrowed lexicon, like the leaky roof drawing patches on the wall smelling of another rain, smelling of grandfather’s only black coat that he wore like a second skin;
When it hung on the nail behind the door, he was shrunken, diminished, swallowed by loud kitchen voices, rambunctious brass and copper pots, their warm bottoms patterned with soot;
His walking stick stands in my cupboard, older than me, than him, head bent in a way his never was, even the night by grandma’s body, preparing her, preparing himself;
I search for him with words in a language he never spoke, that can state he laughed out loud watching cartoons with me that last summer, but cannot translate the way his whole body shook, the way the sea trickled out of one eye, his face contorted into something that I now call joy.
Rajani Radhakrishnan is a poet from Bangalore, India. Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post.