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“The Rented Louis Vuitton”
and Other Poems


Ankita Anand

Art by Howard Meister


The rented Louis Vuitton

When I utter the words of this language,
My nose thinks it smells sympathy
For the child who got a wild card
To come and play anytime
At this game she would never win.

When my tongue tries to balance
The building blocks, I start tripping:
Twenty-six crushed letters, all alphas,
Necks tilted at the angle of question marks,
"Why will you not be content
With what you are?"

This language is my god with closed eyes;
I stand before it with folded hands,
Conscious that it sees too much.



Allow on your face
Alternate strips
Of light and shadow,
Sun piercings,
Sand embeddings.

Become textured,
Offer resting places
To fingers that pass.



The dead become stars
And some of them are killed a second time
By city smog.

The night we found some of our stars on a forest horizon,
We cried for the lost ones.

We were consoled on many nights
That tomorrow is a new day.
That day arrived many times,
Yet its light escaped us.

This time we did not wait
For the night to pass;
We let it pass through us,
We had taken care to remember,

"That's how the light gets in.”
When dawn broke,
We were there to hold it,
To break its fall.

When the sun came up,
We looked it in the eye
But believed it was sunrise
Only after we had seen it dancing in each other's eyes,
Because pulling it out of the clouds
Had been teamwork.

We remembered movements
And stayed still,
Because, for once,
We did not want change.


A place for grief

Grief can find you
In the middle of a meeting
When it's your turn to speak,

Wrap itself in a morsel,
Make you choke,

Hide behind laughter,
Abrupt halt in elevator.

It should learn
To be considerate,
Come at a better time.

What time can be calendared for it?
What place?


Old flames

I dread to leaf through the old letters.
No, not the ones you wrote to me
(In response, not on your own),
But the ones I sent to you.
Why do I care,
What can I find?
Perhaps something of mine
That I lost to fit into you.

Some pain unaccounted for,
Some wild fury I sold out.