cake rusks

Art by Arfa ~ Poem by Cia

on the sunday mornings, back when nani still had teeth, zoya would
sit with her on the balcony with wet hair and watch the sun dry
the street into dust - this was when nani's forehead was
still stained with hair dye and the stench of ghee, the house still empty.
a thin skin of deceit stretched itself across the surface of their
chai, the same breed as the thick rind stretched across
each of nani's knuckles. this was long after the days where
nani's own nani told her not to sit in the sun, for fear of blanching
her frock and browning her skin; for that brown belonged to
the earth beneath them, not nani's little face! nani broke off
another clod of rusk and watched it grow heavy with the milk from her tea.
times had changed for the two of them. on the sunday
mornings, back when nani still had teeth, zoya sat with
her on the balcony, her face turned up towards the sun,
cheeks the same brown as nani's chappals, while nani leaned back
and slurped the sun in from a teacup.


note: in hindi, nani means maternal grandmother/ chappals means slippers.

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