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I cook my own feast

by Babitha Marina Justin 

I was making mutton biriyani,

with the news of the London blast

breaking on TV.

A splayed pound of mutton leg


marinated with ginger-garlic

and papaya paste,

the pink flesh lacerated,

death's odor cloaked with herbs

and spices.

When the Philippines boiled over,

I was cooking chicken

in a scooped-out watermelon rind,

later to remember its exotic,

raw and smoky taste.

A salad of purple cabbage,

for Afghanistan. Grated carrots,

and pomegranate blood-beads from Kabul,

a dash of lime as always

from my yards of tears.

Today, I put my signature

on neichoru

with sunset strands of saffron

and no beef

on a slow, simmering fire.

Babitha Marina Justin is from a small town in Kerala, South India and her poems have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, Fulcrum: An Annual of Art and Aesthetics (forthcoming), Adolphus Press, Rise Up Review, Constellations, Cathexis NW Press, Silver Needle Press, About Place Journal, The Write Lauch, Ogazine, The Four Quarters Magazine, Taj Mahal Review, Kritya and Journal of Post-Colonial Literature. Her first collection of poetry, Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills, was published by the Writers Workshop in 2015. She is also waiting to debut as a novelist with 'Maria's Swamp: The Bigness of Small Lies'.

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December 2018

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