by Anuja Ghimire

When the moon is less full by one night
I look up but I don’t wonder
if my brother is watching it, too
His sky has the sun now
always equally circular
Nights like these, he’s sipping morning tea
I’m holding him in poetry
I want to tell him
how I heated up ghee and sautéed semolina
earlier in the afternoon
when he was dreaming
I added milk and sugar
just the way I did twenty-five years ago
The first meal I ever cooked
Do you remember, brother?
The recipe in the back of a textbook
When the tape rolls, our kitchen is dark
Only the kerosene stove and ghee burn
Two kinds of yellow
*haluwa creams
I could do anything for you, brother
So I didn’t burn the house for a meal
Now, love is all kinds of abstract
I go back
To when our afternoons didn’t have a twelve-hour layer
I lower the sun and place it outside the window
and push the stove’s lever
The flames cup the frying pan’s edges
as I break the lumps
now golden brown
I do not turn off the fire just yet
My brother is the brightest moon.

*semolina pudding


Image: Halwa by Nidhi Srivastava via Flickr.