I have a poisoned tumor. I am losing my hair.
Still, my hairdresser asks me,
“What do I say to my daughter at the wake?
The body present, will be so absent.”
At nine years old, I stood by his open casket. The stern conductor in black––
the tux he’d worn directing Mahler’s 9th––
spin of the baton on the final note of the last measure
of the First Movement. Dead maestro on stage.
I may decide to fling and toss my arms
when the next round of chemo drips in three-four time.
For now I’ll stay a cobra longing for my India,
its sitars and tanpuras. Lively saris.