A Moment (from the village)

One night N and I went walking in the dark, shining our torches, shivering, looking for pieces of wood to burn in the fireplace. And while, stooping to pick the bundle of sticks used to flick at the horses, uncle Saleem opened the door and shone his light on us in the dark and we threw down the horse’s whip and acted like we were looking for something.

Later that night, he sent up some wood. We watched it burn, learned life stories from the embers, whispered in the dark upon our jaali beds, pulled our blankets closer, our socked toes at the hearth.

Later in flea-bitten dreams, Jala the bull bellowed at the moon.

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