he and I wed here among folks
and play a mutual game of rice.
I put scoops of rice on his head
careful it does not enter mouth,
And eyes and is not rupee rice.
we play our own game of rings
at the bottom of a water’s heart
where we fish fingers for rings.
our fingers shall wear fish rings
like fins fish wear after a meal.
he plays a running away game
under the bachelor’s umbrella
to river city where bodies flow
but my brother will not let him.
I play a casting glances at him
with cross eyes of pure delight.
(the ritual of a Telugu marriage)