Poem of the Week

curated by Meg Day, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke & Niki Herd

Brought to you every week ish—to help you over the hump.


Nov 4, 2015 / Anjoli Roy




Today’s paneer.
Cow’s milk
           (dried too).
Some handfuls
slivered almonds

                  a heavy bottom
                  pan cheese cloth lemon

                  juice or lime.

                           Ma’s wooden
                           moulds, smooth
                           in her hands.

                                   Use what’s left,
                                   what I tucked into
                                   light bags, dragging

                                   dark water.

Empty immigrant cupboards
don’t know these smells.

Your favorite.
Eat it.
It’s special.

Hip high North
Carolina sun sucks
shadows from brown
fingers. There’s a big

old backyard tree.
I’m crunching leaves.
My sisters are some
where upstairs, curled in
shell books, each other’s
hair. Thakurma’s in the
kitchen. I whine
I’m hungry. Watch careful
hands pour water-colored
rose into its tiny aluminum

paper fingers
blot sweaty
child forehead.

Roll a fish
shaped sweet into
a greedy small mouth.

I turn back to the yard, smiling,
chase leaves in buttered light.
Ignore the sore

Your favorite.

A treat after months
away. I feel the grit in
my teeth, remember the
bitter feeling when
we tried our hands
when Thakurma
passed, how our sandesh
was too sugared, dead.

Your favorite.

Before my insides started to turn.
Before we realized what we couldn’t digest.
What do we have left?

And yet
a love letter to our grandmother.





Copyright © Anjoli Roy









Curator's Notes:

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke: "Memory steeped in savory flavor, shaped by loving preparation, Anjoli Roy brings us to the table of familial love then delivers us from grieving with "Sandesh."








Anjoli Roy is a creative writer, editor, instructor, and PhD student in the English Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. While she mostly writes stories about her family, sometimes, with a loving community who pushes her, there are (attempts at) poems. You can find a few more of her recent publications online in, most recently, Frontier Psychiatrist, Kweli, LA Review of LA, River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative (forthcoming), Slink Chunk Press, and Spiral Orb. Her website is www.anjoli.roy.com.

(photo: Anjoli Roy and her thakurma, Bani Roy, in Montgomery, Alabama, 1987).

























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