Anahita Kaman

Sunlight streams in on the space
That lies gaping by my side.
Fingers skim the heavy warmth and I
Taste sweet mango seeping down my throat
So cold it makes my teeth ache.

His scent still lingers on the pillowcase.
Once comforting and strong in its embrace,
It greets me with the sort of familiarity
Of the sound of shattering glass
As you watch, helpless, as it plummets towards the floor.

The patter of footsteps and sleepy chatter
Begin the ritual of waiting. I wonder
If my mother, too, followed the cacophony of my brother and I’s morning routine
Anticipating the dreadful moment the door would slam
And she would be left alone once again.

No one calls me for lunch,
And I cannot move.
I pretend it is my father’s arms, holding me to his chest
If I close my eyes, I can feel the brush of his mustache
And the scent of clean linen and tobacco.

The air in the bedroom is stagnant
Undisturbed by sound or breath.
Like my canary, I loved to sing
But now I can barely recall the sound of my voice.

I like dinner. I can finally speak.
But today my husband has drinks,
And my children are too busy,
And the dog has clocked out early.
So I stay in bed, and dream of mango trees.

Anahita Kaman (Ani) is a sophomore from Hong Kong studying Biology, World Literature, and Business Institutions. She likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain; she’s not into yoga, and likes to think that she has half a brain.