Jet Lagged

My mother never went outside

something about the sun, her skin

so I studied sacred geometry

and pedaled our personal ozone

round and round on my banana-seat

from the edge of the grass beds

to the blades of the mint garden.


She retreated into the walls of her room

something about the air, her lungs

so I learned arboriculture

planting mango and deodar trees

along the perimeter of the house

deeper and deeper into the dirt

from the front porch garden

to the edge of the back fence.


She misplaced her voice

checking boxes under the bed,

the creases in her cupped hands

so I observed the bees

farming the purest honey

and blended it into her chai

from the mint of sehar

to the bed of shaam.


She took on fasting

scribbling notes about pacing herself

back to health

and slipped them under my pillow

so I mastered horology, churned all the crowns

displaced all the batteries

and napped five times a day

from sehar to shaam

at the edge of her carpet

in a bed of her duputtas.


But she scratched out her face

in all our family photos

something about conservation and Band-Aids

maybe something about home

under my fingernails

or hers

something about a grave woman

with bedded skin


Something about a brown woman with pale skin.