ചുംബനം – Nidhi Zak

ammachi taught me how to kiss / my small face in her hands / bony cheekblade whetting mine /breathing in sharp / lungfilled as if she had / just been born and I / so close / enough to smell /giddy heat / oiled ringlets / like coconut / like matriarch / tough brown outside / tender white inside / so

later / when he put his tongue / down my throat / I gave it back / because a man /

who doesn’t know / how to kiss you / doesn’t deserve to / touch your hair.

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