Naru Dames Sundar
Shuttlecock flight, feather spin cross the net limning heaven and earthen hells. Sound —
Bao's racket, ghost boom in shuttlecock wake. Tombs of the the far court, dissident silence
Broken by squeal of rubber on wood, our feet and bodies painting, calligraphic dance.
Ashen sticks of joss scattered behind, shuttlecock return into the curtained dark.
The sound of Bao's racket, finely shaped as porcelain, rich as baijiu from Maotai.
Pitter, clatter, click the sound of ghost feet. The sound of dissident keyboard typing.
Bao's account, my fingers. Bao's trial, my coward tongue stilled. Bao's mother at the wake,
Slap of fingers to face, nails scraping, a bloom of red inauspicious as my quiet presence.
Arm, racket, shield-like raised, heart indefensible even as I lunge, reaching, hoping.