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Anjali Khosla Mullany – (mullany)

Anjali Khosla Mullany

Damp House

In the morning I wake, ripe with condensation, to the trumpetedness of
elephants, non-native & extinct.  Long-necked cranes?  What a strange way to
make something, but it’s not in my control.  Sediments collect at the bottom of
the new lake, altering the body.  I can hear some, see some from the kitchen
window, bucketing a footed tub for coffee water.

“Lien Ngoc,” the neighboring organist calls through a bathroom wall.  The plaster
leaks; or, crepitant rales from the pipes of “le lavabo”, the cat on the banister.
There are no real ways to soothe an ancient, drowned kitty.  Too soggy &
unexpected.  “Lien Ngoc!”  The cat’s daughter is sighing on the stairs.  My child
is some blank light at the corner of a finger-pressed eye.

The constructioneers swim away at lunchtime, buoyed by their boxes & pails, so
the creation noises temper down.  “How thirsty I am!”  In preparation for dinner,
I count eggs before a tiny mirror.  It fogs up just as the reflection appears.
“Desperate!”  And you wonder why I won’t reply?

The bathroom wall, stilly as a photograph of a gurney, but before the next
morning I imagine it bloats like a bullfrog’s slippery throat.

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