Turnkey

The day they came to ask
for my hand, I recollect clouds

of steam from the kitchen,
a singed animal smell.

Windows streaked
by the start of the monsoon,

faint sound of a harmonica
from somewhere up the road.

Several times I passed myself
in the hallway mirror.

No longer sure which way
was coming, which was going,

I drank the tea they brought me.
Someone may have used the word

auspicious in a sentence.
This would fit the way such a story

might be told. But I looked around
and there was no one to absolve

or confirm any splinter
of misgiving. Wet leaves

at the bottom of the cup
drew a shape, but refused to say

anything of the new
country ahead.

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