Panchakarma, Day 1


We are in a place that has become a womb.

A sweltering jungle womb.

Each morning, they rub us

with dark hands

deep, medicated oil

laid out in loincloths

on wooden tables.


In a light pink sari

Oosha pours hot water methodically up and down each limb,

coaxing to the surface


from the bones.

They bring medicines in tiny tin cups.

Sweet ones. Bitter ones. Warm sour ones.

We sit in bed, chairs. Read some. sing some.

watch our own unearthed dirt

and wait

for the next few lines

of this poem.