Uma Menon- “Coming Home”

Outside the gates,
a cow empties herself

to feed her child &
tonight we are churning
butter with our hands.

Salt always nips
at my tongue
so that wherever I am,
it must not be home.

The wind, loudest
at dawn, races past me

to rectify its own &
whips up butter before
it reaches my throat.
Today, I am building

a house: with its four walls
made of hands & its roof
of salted butter.

When the roof melts
on my tongue, the hands
tighten their grip
till I find

that my own house
has strangled me whole.