The family name left behind, nailed
Out on the door, as if
They weren’t going to need it any more.
And a ceiling marked with residual trouble.
Double-sided tape where the stars were wrenched off, but
They left a planet behind:
one saturnine globe in neon,
a threadbare ring, glowing sharp
at lights-out time.
And the outline of where a stained-glass angel clutched a harp.
A framed friend-photo—sunlight, a swing—
all teeth stood out, bare, and the light came in filtered lime.
No toy clues; not even a broken wing
Or scruffy paw or chewed up arm. Just one candle
Stub, an inch on the window-sill. And one
Annie Zaidi is a Mumbai-based writer whose forthcoming book, Known Turf, is about her experiences as a reporter.
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