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Achene of Womb & Sky
by Ambika Talwar

Poised in a sewing frame is my child
not quite mature, not faceless—
One sunny day she was sprung from my womb
my own days green and raw
wilderness of my thighs held apart.

With longing of fettered seed whose hull
does not crack open, splinter of star
in northern night, she came into our light—
my eyes red-misty watched her pushing.

Before as seas spilled, my belly filled slowly
horizon never fell out—but swayed farther away
a boat tethered to a post in lake
lapping in settling sun's circling shadows.

Everything made time swell, fall, swell again.

I used to count the felly one by one
as time's parts whistled through moon faces.

She now half smiles, an awkward pubescent
in blue-white stripes poised with sunflowers
whose mad petals promise to blaze.

May she become a winged achene
single seed mightier than Himalaya
where night glows pulsing like heart-wind.

Breath of form whose formlessness
chases away what cannot serve her.

Some…some speak of resemblances
flicker of memories passing—but
aging cannot leave you faceless;
look how mountains ruggedly face sky.

These sunflowers are not potent as your life
dearest child—She smiles…flock of birds
in vibrato break sky into thousand slivers…


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