I swallow basil leaves
out of exasperation,
maa says it’s holy and sacred.
I spill ganges water,
pearl white on myself,
my skin turns utterly dewy,
lavender and rose fragrance altogether.
My heart is a closed box of charcoal and honey,
maa says it removes impurities and vexation.
But I tell you it doesn’t eliminate the dusky elements of past sin and remorse.
They say there is no right
and there is no wrong.
It’s all a matter of perception.
I say the soul can always differentiate between right and wrong.
A heart always knows what’s underneath.
I ask maa what is hurtful;
She says to deceive someone is hurt
to break trust is hurt
to steal from someone is hurt.
I ask maa what is true;
She says kindness is the ultimate truth
the originality of an innate idea is truth
the creation of an art is truth.
I swallow chamomile tea
to induce sleep (it’s a ritual now).
And once again
I sleep in my world;
a casket of recurrent thoughts
& my mind,
a waterfall cascade.