What would Ghandi have done,
I ask myself,
reviewing my actions
like grocery lists.
I think of Ghandi
crouched on the floor,
eating curry with his fingers,
great gurus dropping in
for lunch.
The problem is
I have asked myself
too late:
after instead of before.
Ghandi would have had less
to say I’m sure,
but speech is my specialty,
particularly talking back,
especially talking back to men.
Argument is something
of a calling card,
my name itself means
I have clenched my tongue
beneath my teeth,
until it has swollen
around them, like
grapes grown inseparably
into their arbor.
But the words ooze
from the pores of my skin
when I do, demanding
their place in the room.

What would Ghandi have done,
had he been a woman,
his fingers tight around the broom
to control his temper
at this latest petty injustice –
had all his resistance been
dedicated to small causes,
that never seem to gather mass,
as laundry so easily does.

I think of Ghandi
initiated into kriya
in some small room
of his simple life,
these monkish rooms
I have always longed for
but never found,
not only because they are
easy to clean, but make
concentration on great causes
more likely.

I think it is Ghandi’s
photograph I need
to affix to the refrigerator,
instead of grocery lists.
Telling myself:
squat upon the Earth,
eat the food she gives you
with your hands,
acquire grace
as you lick them