In the queue, she gathered an ocean evenly into her arms larger than the airport.
While children swarm the pristine beach like bangles in her ginger wrist, one of them
is my mother, waving. Each minute as bleak. By an edge, coconut palms flap about sealed in rows.
Unrelenting then, the rust-bit gate creaked. Malayalam like a woman in oiled braids and clips
almost the colour of needle looks on. Which one are you? Her voice starkly enacting. Which one that left?
Like some lash that serrate backs into meandrous roads until her welts purpled into neelakurinji flowers.
Where is your nose ring? They’ve changed your ears. And Time closed these holes where once
danced the jewelled hoops nobody noticed until now. Piled in some biscuit tin with one finger trace
the river carved darkly, it stays. As the boatman paddled his flotilla into a thin, leafy, stem of sun.
Rushda Rafeek is an artist living in Sri Lanka.