All the Saints by Vijay Khurana

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All the Saints

by Vijay Khurana

See here, where the floor is worn

that’s where they say she knelt before she died
full of grace, but how could she not be

It’s a wonderful mosaic

cracked and clustered
equal parts earth, sky and void
they must have brought that pigment
all the way from the east
somebody’s life’s work

It’s a great pity the tiles are so distressed

every fracture maps a footfall,
that godly imperfection
the impact of mahogany, oak or skull
Her hair is in a shrine. Singular
Pressed between two rosed panes of glass
And there’s a magnifying glass
tied to a piece of brown string
the kind we have at home for tying tomatoes
it rolls fibrous between the thumb and the middle finger
disintegrating like the burning sun
We queue up
to see the dead woman’s hair
I can’t wait to feel that string between my fingers
Once I found a whisker from the cat
and kept it in a box, with a car
and those foreign dice with the pictures on
tools for a sport I could not play
I would watch it bow
full of grace
feel the impression it left on the back of my hand,
my lips, my tongue
until it broke and was gone
(long after the cat was dead and gone)
standing in line, my water bottle
throws a disc of dancing light on the wall
over where the young woman died

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