Arjun Rajendran has published at QLRS, Mascara Literary Review, Pyrta, Asian Cha, Nether
and other literary journals/magazines. He has a Master's in Journalism from the Xavier
Institute in Bombay that was never put to use. He grew up in India and has been in the
United States for the past seven years, reading, writing, traveling.

A reading of Kon-Tiki

Miss Mercy read from the Gulmohar text
of Thor Heyerdahl's voyage—

I sat on the grass, between a girl
who smelled of prawn stew and a tree,

and yet, was thousands of miles away,
on a balsa raft under the moon.

More than twenty years later,
I hardly remember that afternoon, how

it was to be in the outdoors, surrounded
by nature within and without,

by coconut trees and backwaters,
by angry waves hurling our raft

while the gods conspired. I hardly
remember the taste of my nails or the sky

of parrots, but I can still return
to the grass, to the girl and the tree,

I can still return, and the shadow
of the frond will not have moved.

Memories of Light

It was dawn and we were still kissing.
Your skin was a second of blue,
an hour of solstice visiting a wharf.

The night placed a bowl of moonlight
outside the door.

It was snowing as we drove between
pine trees—
elk shadows grazed in the rear view mirror.

I thought I smelled photosynthesis
but it was only your perfume.

As we held each other in the darkness,
the cat flew in.

A pool of light on the museum floor;
I tell you I want to swim
in it, and you tell me I'm crazy.

Crystals of chilled zinfandel;
I understand wine
more than I understand you.

I remember because of the lightning.

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