Crow | Ramesh Avadhani

        When I woke up she was not there beside me. I rushed to the bathroom.
"Don't come near," she said and then put the brush back into her mouth. I stood near the door and watched her gargle and spit out a white stream. I willed her to look at me but she didn't. 
        I knew then what had happened. It happened every month.  "A crow touched you?" I asked in a quaver.
        She nodded without looking at me. She washed her face with soap and I crossed my legs, putting one foot on the other. The pain was beginning but I could bear it.
        I looked behind, at the backyard where a guava tree grew in unruly splendor. Farther up, near the wall that divided our house from the next, a mango tree stood, tall and slim. But there were no crows at all, no flapping, no cawing. From where did this crow come and touch her?
        "But Mama, how can a crow touch you so early in the morning?" 
        She had finished washing her face and was now blinking out the water from her eyes. Then she wiped her chin with a hand and reached for the towel on a peg.
        "I said a crow touched me, didn't I? Now be a good boy and go tell Daddy to prepare coffee."
        "You tell him," I blurted and went to the toilet. My head was hot, hotter than the urine that I directed all over the toilet, even on the tap. 
        "It's only for three days and then you can touch me," she said from behind. 
        I turned and ran past her, past the living room, to the verandah, down the staircase and on to the street. I looked around and picked up a stone that fit perfectly into my small hand. I stood there, waiting for the crow, any damn crow, to show up.

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | winter 2008  
Single Life #8 | Amy Groshek 
Parallel Conservatory | Clare Kirwan
Old & Strong  |  Robert Gibbons
Crow | Ramesh Avadhani
Driving Ninety | Mark Spencer
With Her Own Things | Kristiana Colón
Story of a Hall Porter | Edward Mc Whinney
The Halcyon Days of War | B.E. Hopkins
Three Stories | Laurence Davies

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