Amlanjyoti Goswami
At the butcher’s

I can smell rain, mutters the butcher
Cleaving the shoulder.
Does rain have a smell, asks the younger man,
Learning the ropes.
Where you make the incisions, where the
First chop must fall.

Yes, the wet earth, I step into
The conversation, a stranger to the ways of knife and blow.
The fragrance of earth, he remembers,
As one more deft stroke
Cuts to the skin of the matter,
As the flow dyes the wooden block,
A shade darker.

We wait patient in the shadows, for umbrellas
To spring to life.
This dead afternoon quiet, where ants prowl lonely,
And flowers stay thirsty.
This dry blaze of May
Rain far as Marrakesh, or Persia.

But he felt it, that is true, as he cut deeper
Into cloud, poking the open blue,
Reaching the emptiness from which all things must spring,
Rain coming, soon,
and filling our borders with music.