The grief leaves me breathless when I see a green clay cat
I made at five on my grandmother’s windowsill, her saris still
neatly folded. The voice corrodes my sleep: Do you think
you still belong? I am not used to this feeling—
the dreams of her combing my hair, the soft air on my throat.
I can give it a name: anxiety, the art of being both hunter and prey.
Do you guess when you see me?
I cannot tell if the noise makes it to you.
The story of the princess from the Aravalli Hills:
locked in her room, she rearranges furniture every night.
An isotopic configuration of what is there, an isotopic thought.
To rupture it I focus on the moan of the swing in the dark.
Your soft swell after a verbena shower.

ANANYA KANAI SHAH was born in Boston and raised in Ahmedabad, India. Her poems and essays have appeared in the Offing, Gulf Coast Online, the Bangalore Review, the Bombay Review, and the Ploughshares blog. Currently a low-residency MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU, she holds a BA from Brown University. She was a Kundiman Mentorship Lab Fellow in 2019.