Clouds

hyphenself crow 4

-Rajesh K. Jha

I hold a grudge against the clouds.
It has teased me the entire day,
darkening a corner of the sky and then disappearing,
sprinkling a drop on the tip of my nose,
thundering at a distance
arousing hope that dissipates like good times.

I bribe it with a flower,
offer a servile smile like I do to my boss in the office,
but it responds with a grave, ashen look,
I am terrified.

Let me try a trick.
I have the power to cheat on my memories.
That day I borrowed a little breath
from the crow whose voice pierced my ears
waking me up from night’s slumber.

Mixing my breath and the crow’s,
my sigh with its shriek,
I exhale the slow, warm air of nothingness
and a storm built in the gut of the clouds.

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