From the Archives: “A Mom Reads Kipling” by Elizabeth Bastos

I am the many-armed
goddess of the market-going
and market-coming-back-from,
a sacred balloon tied to each child’s wrist. Death

of shrimp.

In the middle of the night, you better believe
I am the mongoose.

Beside me lies the lump of Man, unconscious,
who does not hear (and maybe could never hear)
the stirrings of Nag,

a sound so different from the heat.

Look at me, Darzee:
how viciously and how lovingly
I put the rinds of the melon onto the melon bed.

Originally published Spring 2010.