Sharanya Manivannan
A Minute Thing

I wonder what watched over us
that night as we slept, in
a room darkened by the
failure of electricity, cooled
by old earth, illuminated by the
faultlines of our hearts. Our
chiaroscuro bodies, our
uncomplicated needs,
swollen with trust and a
longing bright as auroras,

the memory of which still wakes
me in the blue prebirth of morning
in a country that rises with the
suffocating somnolence of dust.
I wonder if it could have been
your brass idols or their paper ones.
Or perhaps it was one of those
primordial things that live
in that rich arable, swing from
those trees older than the names
of any gods we know.
I wonder if it could have been
anything so big. Perhaps it was
only a minute thing, a fragment
of lightning, tiny and irretrievable,
frightening as love.