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The Days After

By Indran Amirthanayagam

I have not had a drink in ten
days, I declared to my close
friends, spilling the news
as well to a fellow passenger

on the bus, and earlier to birds
I greeted as I sauntered off into
the day with a constitutional
by the graves. I am also

a creature of habit, ingrained
practice, wine, cheese and
poems, raw chillies for
the delicious hot sensations,

poll sambol with Maldive
fish, rice and pumpkin,
parippu, island tastes
I associate with basic,

overwhelming desire,
but not a drink, now
that I have decided
to follow the path of

my late grandfather
the doctor who drank
tea and Tamil and never
ever wine or scotch. My

father enjoyed his drink
and all poems, and
devoured every novel
written, but I let this

part of the legacy go.
He loved his father
and everybody else.
He was intensely kind

and will understand
that I raise my glass
to him now, filled
with sparkling water.




Listen as Indran Amirthanayagam readsThe Days After.”

Added: Thursday, September 14, 2023  /  Used with permission.
Indran Amirthanayagam
Photo by Val Loh.

Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, editor, publisher, translator, YouTube host, and diplomat. He produced a unique record in 2020, publishing three books written in three different languages. He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. His twenty-three books include The Elephants of Reckoning, which won the Paterson Prize. In music, he recorded Rankont Dout. He edits Beltway Poetry Quarterly, writes for Haiti en Marche and El Acento, and has received numerous fellowships. He is the IFLAC World Poet of 2022. He hosts The Poetry Channel. Indran and Sara Cahill Marron publish at Beltway Editions. Amirthanayagam’s Powet Nan Po A (Poet of the Port) will appear in January 2024. Amirthanayagam has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Learn more by visiting Indran's website.

Image Description: Indran looks forward at the camera and smiles. He stands slightly facing the right with sunbeams and bright green leaves behind him. He wears a white collared shirt with a black, narrow-brimmed hat. Indran is on the grounds of Punahou School in Honolulu, where he spent his high school years after arriving in the United States.

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