My Name

Jai Dulani


I am in a bazaar with my mom,

meat slices hang like earrings.

she shakes her head, clucking, it’s too expensive

            when I wanted to come out to extended family

            she warned      they      are      not      worth      it.

            bizarre. the cost of nourishment.


chunni covered head, backlit woman leans

in, says we met in 1976. I told her I wasn’t born

yet. Must be mistaken. The impossibility

of knowing me, squints. Scrunch sun stain.

            new country, who dis?

                  no brief explanation of this body.

            do we all land, sweetly, here?


parallel park this. blue steel colossal truck.

is it possible? to be here? passing light blares.

unwieldy maneuvering. Precious, keep driving.

            Narrow family space      Rearview glare

            tears my eyes.


truck full of goods.

what we owe/ what we have left

after getting what/ we wanted.

            protect them? protect

            me? the shell broke.

            Jai      means      victory      to


I am at a long table. A writer stands up, she

gives someone a piece of her mind. Her curly hair

swishes, her finger points.

            What if I was talking, like it mattered?


about the author