February 6, 2017
By Krithika Pennathur

1.
My mother’s curry
filled with spices she buys everyday
from the vendors
rich spices
I can taste them even when asleep
she cooks with love.
all the love she has left
in her.

2.
Dupatta.
She puts the dupatta on
as she walks to the airport.
trying not to cry.
My aunt wailing in the background.
she stays strong.
she leaves everything she has ever known.
for a better life
they say.

3.
Excuse me, do you speak English?
I don’t understand you with your thick accent.
Go back to where you came from.
Terrorist.
Sand N—-.

4.
Oceans and oceans away.
lies her heart.
filled with all the spices in the midst of a third world country.
where water is scarce
but the love is stronger.

5.
Immigrant.
they find out she’s an immigrant.
they look at her differently.
they assume she knows nothing of this culture.
they think she is stealing their jobs, their space, their land.

6.
What is here for me?
only hatred.
I am part of a country that does not even want me.
part of a country that is promoting hatred.
My family is scared for me
and I am scared for my family.

7.
I try to cook food.
my mother’s curry.
with all the love that she gives me.
it doesn’t taste the same with a broken heart.