Today's poem is by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

First Anniversary, With Monkeys
Periyar Nature Preserve

There is no crumbly frozen cake to thaw.
Today, we are in the jungle. I mean mosquito. I mean

tigers and elephants sludging their way
to the lake for a drink and Don't make sudden moves

or snakes startled from an afternoon nap
will greet you fang first. I think we are lost. Too hot

for any cold confection to survive. Even my tube
of sunblock is as warm as a baby's bottle. You get

to those places I can't reach, those places I dared
not even whisper before I walked down the aisle

in white. You never worried if our families
would clash, if they would clang, like the clutch

of pale monkeys clanging the thin branches of the treetops,
begging for our trail mix. You never worried

about my relatives staring at your pale, muscled calves—
things not usually seen outside of the bedroom. You wore

hiking shorts anyway. And still, they lavished ladle-fuls
of food on your plate. I think we are lost. My eyes are dark

and wet as that wild deer that walked right past us,
a little off the trail. I think we are lost, but for once

I don't mind. Eventually you turn us back to a place
not on any map, but I know I can trace it back with my finger

if we ever need it again. We made it one year
without a compass and we're not about to start now.

Copyright © 2007 Aimee Nezhukumatathil All rights reserved
from At The Drive-In Volcano
Tupelo Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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