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The Fish - 1
Gagan Gill


Death flashed in her eyes
As if it were a flickering star
As if it were a sky full of birds
As if it were the wind
Before it rains.

The fish lunged out of the water
As if
It were not death out there
But a longing to return
To the primal dream.

She caught the water
In her fine teeth
As if
It were the very last time
She knows, this river-fish
She'd die, going to the sea.

She wanted
Before this death of hers by drowning
One last time
To return
To the waters of the river.

Then, in her own waters
This river-fish
She drowned.

Translated from the Hindi by J. P. Das, Madhu B. Joshi, and Arlene Zide.