Like Ordinary Weeping
First the pain pools behind the eyes like ordinary weeping, but when the girl Savitri squeezes her lids together, not tears, but small white stones drop with the sound of wind-chimes into the sling of her sarong.
Squatting in the sun along the Jarkhand-Airport Road, Savitri crushes limestone slabs to pebbles with the rhythmic chink and ping of the pick, chalk invading her nostrils, shoulders bent under the thunder of the jet stream,
the heft of gravel scooped into baskets and balanced on her head to the weigh-station. What desiccates your tears, Savitri? Is it an unrelenting thirst from a life smothered beneath layers of grit?
Yet every night Savitri trudges to her village through dark excavations, inhales the Holy Ganges in the distance, and raises her eyes to sip nourishment from a star-shattered sky.