What Colour?

February 23, 2018

What colour is a fallen leaf in the dark? I watched him measure
libations of water and sesame seeds, chanting under his

 

breath. It was Amavasya, the period of the dark moon, the time
for sacred rituals for the dead. The silver spoon trembled in his

 

wrinkled hand. How many times had he sat there at the appointed
hour, remembering grandpa, and great-grandpa who wasn’t even a

 

photograph, just a pixelated memory of a twirled moustache and
great coat, a man who had predicted that the British would not

 

last the summer. His son met my eyes from a row of framed pictures,
an almost frown, disapproving of my slouched incongruence. The oil

 

lamp spilt its liquid fire on brass bowls of vermillion and turmeric,
stark against his snow white hair. When had he aged so much? When

 

had the carmine and gamboge of his fleeing autumn become so
cold to my touch. What colour exactly is death in the morning?

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