Once their mother put a dropper to their tongues
Dispensing slow beads from the tiny brown bottle
Just so they could taste her childhood
And she could tell them again
Of how it had been almost free. Gallons to drink
Until her teens, when all the clouds became
White, floating. The Dry became the only season
Even as machines to extract liquid from air
Whined and whirred, even as the sea
Gave up its treasure, the Dry deepened
The liquid itself was priced higher than gold
Higher than oil, and even if they didn’t need
Water for existence anymore
They longed for it as
Humans long for what is lost and delicious.
Kavita A. Jindal is a prize-winning writer and editor whose work has appeared in anthologies, literary journals and newspapers worldwide and been broadcast on BBC Radio, Zee TV and European radio stations. She is the author of Patina and Raincheck Renewed. Selected poems have been translated into Arabic, German, Punjabi, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Ukrainian. Her poem Kabariwala is included in ‘100 Great Indian Poems’ published by Bloomsbury in 2018. In the spring of 2020 her first novel, Manual for a Decent Life, was published by Brighthorse Books.
She is the co-founder of ‘The Whole Kahani’ collective of British-Asian writers and in addition she collaborates with musicians, artists and film-makers across a range of projects. Kavita was born in New Delhi, India and resides in London, U.K.
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