Ghosha

System error, Devi says soft as incense ash.

System error, Devi says
soft as incense
ash.
Titanium arms
(red with reflected silk
turmeric-daubed brass
gears machine oil slick, anointed
with drops of sesame)
still
empty
of blessing.

Another child tugs
on a gold-edged sari, points high
at the bell

Father tends the smoking fire, the chants
camphor. I know software. He believes
in cell phones, supplicants,
learning.
— Mine. How do I tell him I searched
her code, found
a lexicon
and blank eternity?

I lift the child
from his mother’s shaking
hands. The brass bell
reflects us monstrous.
He pushes
giggles at the clang, coughs
blood.

Devi’s kohl-lined camera eyes whirr,
focus. System,
she tells me,
Error.

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