Meaning: of the glands. From the Greek karkinos—
meaning “crab growth.” At certain stages it resembles
a cauliflower. Not everything makes sense. Two bodies,
while sparring, create a set of interlocking fingers,
a spongy mass riddled with lesions. A desert of devastation.
There’s something hidden in the hieroglyphs
of stranded bodies. They glint and stiffen
in the sun, a legion of bony-mouthed fish.
It’s itchy she says. This body pinches. I am a lost dot.
I would scale these heights for you, but I fear the depths.
Every day one trillion tons of water evaporate
from the world’s oceans. To evaporate: to turn
to vapor. To disappear. You can close your mouth,
but somewhere else, another will open.
Copyright © Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Mia Ayumi Malhotra is a Kundiman Fellow and the Associate Editor of Lantern Review. Her poems have appeared in New Delta Review, Drunken Boat, Greensboro Review, Best New Poets, DISMANTLE: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her manuscript, entitled “When I See You Again, It Will Be with a Different Face,” has been named finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, and the Kundiman Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from Kundiman, an organization dedicated to the cultivation of Asian American poetry, and the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop. She teaches and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. miamalhotra.com
(Kore Staff Pick)