I ain’t selling

Sanjukt Saha
ILLUMINATION
Published in
2 min readMay 7, 2023

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Photo by Jarosław Kwoczała on Unsplash

Amy —
Listen up, the sun was almighty, like every,
Midnightly, when I drink. I drink, a bitter moonshine, from the liquor store.
We ain’t making it anymore.

Andrew, now he is a songbird, he is high perched
The wires, too far above me.

When I was twenty, I took my brother riding
My arms up in strong surrender, to make the handlebars of a trike. His hands see, he laid on mine for steering, lovingly.

He was taken by the shrike. I kill him every day, now he is happy.
He said those are machines from old wars, from a distant Mars. They ain’t
any telegraph pole.

Amy —
Please tell me, did she get up in the morning, when it was still soon, before noon.
I asked her to stay back, we could make some shining.

But it was twilight when I heard her speaking to a stranger about wanting to go. Amy, did she really need to go?

My arms now, weak and slung at my sides
Down in some surprise, as I waited in the grass. The transmission tower
Looming by the road. ’Tis a machine
But ain’t fighting any more.

Both of us reeling, trying to be steady
For the passing cars, not to know. At the intersection, of the way home, the direction she went, and the alley that springs from nowhere.

I noticed it just a day ago.

Amy —
In my hands, I carry the book we bought at the thrift store.
It has a page torn. For her, thrift stores weren’t a place you go back searching for pages missing. They are like old leaves of grass, and my teeth
burnt yellow.

The tower makes a tall mile stone.
You can see it from far when you hold your palms over your eyes,
as you walk home. Once she said she could see it from the car as it rushed past, the last thing by her window.

Amy —
We were two, and forty, too old for any teen spirit
But we stood rooted to the floor.

I called her,
coal in my throat.
I called her, I was waiting.
If you would come, we could go buy a bicycle to go
riding.

Afterwards, as the sun still wouldn’t cast any shadow
I started walking, home. She had taken a car and she asked me
if the book in my hand, I was selling for more moonshine from the store.
The one that isn’t around the corner.

Amy —
I didn’t tell her,
I ain’t selling.

© Sanjukt Saha

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