Karol Bagh, Delhi
लड़की दौड़ रही है
The one sentence my students remember in Hindi:
The girl is running.
she is running she is five her legs are small
the men do what they want with her —
she cries out they cut her throat she quiets
a floor below her parents
the men stanch the blood with candles
I know kind men, loving men.
cab driver brushes my leg — you married? any kids?
dark birds glide over the Jama Masjid
I used to think they rode the air for some beautiful purpose —
wings trail shadows on red tiles
the circling a calculation
a means to strike cleaner, to control.
I pull my skin closer.
They can’t see my face.
What can it mean to pray now —
Emily Mohn-Slate teaches first-year writing at Carnegie Mellon University and is co-director of the Social Change Semester. She is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Fourth River, Pittsburgh City Paper, and are forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Vector Press, and the Motif-v4 Anthology. She was runner-up for the 2014 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and runner-up for Free State Review's 2014 John Elsberg Poetry Contest.