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JONAKI RAY

 

 

 

jona ray photoJonaki Ray was educated in India (IIT Kanpur) and the USA (UIUC), and after a brief stint as a software engineer, returned to her first love, writing. She is now a poet, editor, and writer based in New Delhi, India. Jonaki is the winner of the 2017 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Contest (ESL). She has been shortlisted for multiple awards for her poetry, including the 2018 Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize, the 2016 International RL Poetry Award, and the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Contest (ESL). Her fiction was longlisted for the 2016 Writers' HQ International Fiction Contest. Her work has been published in India, the USA, the UK, Singapore, and Italy in newspapers, webzines, literary journals, and anthologies. Publications include The American Journal of Poetry, Lunch Ticket, The Matador Review, Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi), Kitaab, and The Lake, among others.

 

 

Reverse Astrology

After a painting of five hands cut off at the wrist, seen at a house in Goa, India

 

        The house has tom-cat windows

        fat with fungus and mold

        Inside, the sofas droop under covers

        like Hindu widows mourning their own.

His assistant nods my entrance

to the kitchen where the sooty table

centers the five hands laid out like pendants in a choker

A right hand followed by another, with a topaz ring on the index finger

        At a slight gap, a left hand unused to work in its fair-ness

        contrasting a scarred, honey-glazed right hand

        and last, a left hand again, tapering fingers used

        to paint and smoke, witnessed by the scars on it

They said: He will take one look at your palm

Tell you who you are to marry

The names of your children

Even the taunts of your mother-in-law

        The house is a withered ginger

        its future outgunned by the conspiring

        stars. No one can predict their own fate

        I see each hand is cut off at the wrist

 

 

©2018 Jonaki Ray

 

 

Author Links

 

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"Time Is both a Wave and a Line" published in The American Journal of Poetry

 

 

 

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