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White Asparagus by Sujata Bhatt

Who speaks of strong currents
streaming through the legs, the breasts
of a pregnant woman
in her fourth month?

She’s young, this is her first time,
she’s slim and the nausea has gone.
Her belly’s just starting to get rounder
her breasts itch all day,

and she’s surprised that what she wants
is him
inside her again
Oh come like a horse, she wants to say,
move like a dog, a wolf,
become a suckling lion-cub –

Come here, and here, and here –
but swim fast and don’t stop.

Who speaks of the green coconut uterus
the muscles sliding, a deeper undertow
and the green coconut milk that seals
her well, yet flows so she is wet
from his softest touch?

Who understands the logic
behind this desire?
Who speaks of the rushing tide
that awakens
her slowly increasing blood – ?
And the hunger
raw obsession beginning
with the shape of the asparagus:
sun-deprived white and purple-shadow-veined,
she buys three kilos
of the fat ones, thicker than anyone’s fingers,
she strokes the silky heads
some are so jauntily capped…
even the smell pulls her in–

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