makkhan malai – Swastika Jajoo
noon settles— embroidered with trinkets of winter dhoop, rising steam from the chai stall across, colours of kesar from makkhan malai that has seen the moon all night & finally becomes its song. that is how i am, too, becoming the lyric of you, dear moon, dear love, dear whose name i can barely whisper for fear of it scattering across my every sky. so i keep you like a safeguarded secret, the loneliness of the man who brews & brews & brews the makkhan for hours on end with no company but the moon. he is met by a morning slightly sweeter but no less lonely. what do i know of love? nothing other than it is what it is & makkhan malai? nothing, too, other than it is what it is. o khuda, thank you for at least letting the best of things stay safe from the desperation of description. if there is no meaning to pining, let pining be meaning itself.
Swastika is studying Linguistics in Japan — or at least that is what she’s doing when not conversing with crows, teaching, trying to poem™ or worrying about if she’s added too much ginger to her chai. Her work has been featured with The Seventh Wave, Eunoia Review, MudRoom Mag and The Lickety Split among others.
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