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Featured Poetry Winter 2021

to grow old

by Aditi Limaye

Life is a short thing, the flies that
          buzz around my room will 
stop their droning gaggle in a day
          a day or two, anyway.

The large gourd-shaped hulk who
          bellows beneath the depths has
over 200 years, that lucky thing and
          when my son tugs at my 

pant leg, and asks me why my
           hair starts to look like the
feeling of a key ring, silver and
          weighed down by things,
 
I read him a book about whales and
          hope that he will not ask
how many whale lives I have left
          but how many fly lives I have.

Life is a long thing, when starfish
          lose limbs, it’s usually just
because they’re a little warm, it’s
          their small discarded sweater

but when I get a little warm at night, 
          my body shoved by invisible
currents, I sit in the cavity of the couch
          eyes falling like stars from

when I used to stay up all night and it was
          an act of joy, instead of a lonely,
slow-moving river that just pushes me
          towards when that orange strobe

rises above the water line, when my eyes
          clench from its brilliance and the bones
in my body have not fallen off like the starfish,
          they have never felt so weighted.

Life is a short thing, because the
          macaroni penguins, they mate
for life, and my son and I were watching 
          discovery channel discuss Antarctica,

a place that feels like running out of time,
          at the end of the world, something
like me, and he turned to me and said that he wished 
          I were a penguin so I didn’t have to be 

alone. I said I’m not alone, I have you.
          And he smiled the same smile from when
he visited his first zoo and said “I have 
          you too” and the narrator talked on.

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