Cold Alchemy

By Amrita Chakraborty

                              “the grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown”
                                                                                                                —Gwendolyn Brooks

Long before I caught my first lightning bolt, but after the
time my brother found a kitten shivering, half-starved in the grasses
behind Rana Kaku’s old pond, something rose from my throat. I am forgetting
the exact dimensions, but anyone could tell you it was gold. Their
hands twitched that night as I slept, curled around it, a haughty blaze
on my sunken twin mattress. Girl, wild girl and gold. Girl and 
unearned, ransomed gold. So call me dragon for never consenting
to even let them touch it. I certainly held its small body heat-close, but more to 
the point, I loved it for all that it was. I loved it back into being brown.