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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018

J. Zimmerman
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Legends from India

The car rental agent is enchanted we’ll drive 500 miles north to view the total eclipse. His Bengali grandmother told him of the tradition that pregnant women should not use knives in the kitchen but should, however, add fresh basil leaves to any food served during one.

when we arrive
a friend slices her plump
home-grown tomatoes
layers them with discs of pale cheese
then soft leaves of fresh basil

Days later, the Hindi manager of the Tiki Lodge shakes his head. He doesn’t know such superstitions. In my pocket I stroke my Eclipse Rock, a thumb-sized stone on which a neighbor’s child painted a banana-yellow sun with a huge corona.

after the eclipse
before the day’s heat
scorches us
I give to another child
my eclipse talisman



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