12. rajdhani

Eva tugs the bedsheet open and it parachutes.

The train tickets have gone haywire again,
mostly to my own confusion,
and I’ve ended up on a twelve-hour train without a bed.
We consider flipping coins for who will share bunks with me,
but decide that Eva is the most innocent bedmate.
Precariously we sleep, two nestled sisters on a tiny bunk,
as we rattle past smoky villages, cows peering into clanking cars without permission.
The wallahs sing their wares as they push down the aisles.

In the night I murmur half-awake to silver possibility
of a man’s hand, pressing a dream into mine;
in the morning, the sun slithers around the curtains
into my eye-hollows–

(“Did you sleep?” Eva asks me;
we both agree, stiff-backed, that we did not.)

–and like a soap bubble landing,
it is gone.


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