Natural Disaster

by Srinidhi Panchapakesan

                                          for my grandfather 

It’s been eight months since you died
and I still rummage through old
videos for remnants of your voice,

hearing  you  will  make  me  cry  but
that it’ll be worth it to feel at home
again, on the couch with you, 

talking about politics/
how I’m doing in
school/ what’s for

and you joke about your neighbor who
grows chundakkai in his backyard, you
laugh louder than the house can handle, 

loud enough that I used to think the
stainless steel would go deaf or the
floors would rumble with you and I
can’t find that laugh in my videos. 

A week after you died,
we started to clear your things and
the house shook once more, 

the way it used to when
you were here, as your son cursed his
mother his wife clanged the gate shut 

my grandmother begged them not to leave
your daughter tried to console her I cried
in your office 

and I remember you told me once
how you can’t predict earthquakes but
you know one when you feel it.

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