The airport is a land of small funerals.
Suitcases—hard-shell ripstop cordura
Icelandic blue parrot-green universe-black—
carry the pyres of our past lives bundled
in packs. Ghosts float through scanners
and lines, untying laces grimed in mother
land dirt. It still smells like ashoka bark
and ixora—Indian jasmine. In India,
it’s just jasmine. Everything will be known
by this name, now. It will be Indian food,
not food. Indian clothes, not clothes.
Indian people, not people. Indian gods,
and Indian holidays, Indian festivals
with Indian fireworks like mandalas
threaded in the sky. What is the purpose
of your visit—business or pleasure?
We are emigrating, my father says.
Like the European Roller who winters
in India, but the other way around.
And we won’t leave until it’s time
to leave for good. Until we know
we will become silver ash that settles
on the Ganges and dissolves
as a dream fuzzes when we wake.