if I take my pills sober I sweat     all through the night
I drag my feet for hours     across the ocean floor
lullabies dribble     from my blue lips
the water is cold     rushes in through my cut feet

I rummage for blankets     in the closet
my ears still full     of muted water sounds
I have been asleep     with the lights on
I swim back to bed     dripping

     

Poorva Express

I watch my brother cough himself awake
on the train—or I imagine I do—
somewhere between Benares and Delhi
we've been rushing through rice paddies
pressed by a pale sky the morning through
and he's missed it

It's only when the puddles of lilies are over
and the train slows into the station
that I can admit he isn't here with me

Alone on the Poorva Express
I've fallen asleep thinking
about teaching him
a lesson in running away from home.

Jamie Samdahl is a poet and naturalist from Princeton, Massachusetts. She has been published in Washington Square Review, Mountain Record: The Zen Practitioner’s Journal, Canopic Jar, Poetica Magazine, and elsewhere. In the spring of 2013, she was named winner of the 90th Annual Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Prize.