Postcard from Amritsar
BY RUSHI VYAS
In April 1919, British military fired over 1,600 rounds on Indian civilians and pilgrims gathered to celebrate the spring harvest at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, Punjab. The British claimed the death toll at 379. Indian sources estimated the toll to be over 1,000.
Sister, the world says we own nothing our blood hasn’t spilled to earn. Anything we bleed they reclaim. Your bare brick-scratched arm swings past the machine of city, of country. To survive you leap into a dark well, echo empty where bullet casings cannot follow the body. You carry a solitary stream within, one that flows lit with sun, green ducks, plastic bags, dirty socks, scattered leaves, one that babbles joyful nonsense. I dreamed, last night, a river dammed with rust. When I woke, a raven wailed outside my window. The wail outlasts the dream; the stream survives its source.