Uma Gowrishankar and Lisa Kilhefner

Lisa Kilhefner
Inspiration piece

The First Lesson
By Uma Gowrishankar

Seven grains, that was all. Chewed tastelessly
in clear saliva. The coat of husk snagged
his lucent lotus stem of throat, slit the
food pipe shrunk from months of starvation.

Seven weeks the breeze danced on leaves,
light sharp as it streaked river Hiranyavati.
Silence gathered its heavy skirt into a bunch
waited at doorstep of his hermitage, impatient

and demanding. Letters climbed one atop the other,
slung from bars, dropped mid air like trapeze artists,
legs folded in submission but hands still grasping.
He smiled asking, what have you come to learn?



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