Pisasu (Ghost)

At the southern edge of the village
near the graveyard they levitate, feet-less.

The robust ones make home in tamarind tree:
Mohini in particular with teeth of pearl

her tresses all tangled on the long dark pods
lets moonlight pour through her.

She’ll take the strand of jasmine
from your hair my grandmother warned.

Vedalam prefers the drumstick tree,
the lanky dude is a perfect nerd;

breath reeking of undigested animal gut,
he quizzes kings as he takes piggyback ride.

There is Curse- Sin languishing
at the threshold of an old temple –

he killed a Brahmin; in that liminal space
he sits cradling his severed head between his knees,

waiting for me, you:
keep off the southern entrance of the temple.