Dancing with My Father

Kirun Kapur

If you could go back in time,
do you think you could have saved them?

Time is an illusion, you know

But if you could go back—
explain, persuade them. Convince
even one uncle or niece. One stranger.

The whole world is maya,
illusion and dance.

Well, if you could stop the illusion.

The Upanishads say…

I don’t care what the Upanishads say.
What do you say? If you could go back,
if you could stop the illusion that was their death.

I don’t know who raised you
to be so crude.

Surely, my crudeness is an illusion.

You should eat more loki; it’s good
for you. It’s made with plenty of haldi.
You know, they are doing studies
at Harvard about haldi.

Did you ever wish you’d died instead?
No, here’s what I want to ask:
have you felt angry for surviving?
All this time, is that how you’ve felt?

You should eat.


They say it stops Alzheimer’s.


Didn’t I send you to good schools?


Didn’t they teach you to ask
smarter questions?


It’s a dance.

That’s not an answer.

Even now we are dancing.

I don’t want to dance.

Many steps and many gestures.

I don’t want squash. Or turmeric. I hate loki.

It has a beautiful flower. Can you
hate a flower?

I can hate a flower. I’ve always hated loki.

And a dance? Who can hate the twirl
and the leap; the drums and the bells?