Photo by Mary Ellen Mark
And he let the water envelop him, let it drink him whole, his spirit sinking with the weight of a thousand stones while his mind floated aloft, searching. He looked for his father. He would be soaring there now, Rami knew. He would be mingling with the clouds that danced in the heavens, weaving diamonds into black silk crepe to drape across the sky for the son he'd left behind. He had promised Rami that.
Look to the heavens, Prakesh had whispered.
Rami waited. He did as he was told. Even through the months of heaviness while Prakesh withered like a gohkru flower in a drought, Rami listened and obeyed. He ladled broth and water into a mouth parched and cracked, sponging chilled rags on a fevered forehead chiseled with ill-fated prophecy.
He wore his loneliness now like a waterlogged mundu, clinging to his flesh. The world felt too big for him. The water too deep.
But still he waited, soaked to the bone, bathing in the light of each dawning star.