standing in a stupa on a rainy afternoon

by Anuja Ghimire

three statues of gold skin 
sit in lotus position
buddha in the center 
water flows on the metal
a touch without the wetness
we watch monkeys in trees
creeper babies on mamas
my child is a vine on me, too
inside, a monk arranges
ghee-filled earthen lights for the evening
on the door carved generations ago
leans another woman with a child
his dusk colored face 
eyes closing in like the clouds
the stupa is on a break in the rain
and gods are on leave 
but the mother’s om rings the bells
and strikes the incense in the sky


Nepal-born Anuja Ghimire writes poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction. She is the author of Kathmandu (Unsolicited Press, 2020) and two poetry books in Nepali. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee, she works as a senior publisher in an online learning company. She reads poetry for Up the Staircase Quarterly and enjoys teaching poetry to children in summer camps. Her work found home in print and online journals and anthologies in Nepal, U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Scotland, India, and Bangladesh. She lives near Dallas, Texas with her husband and two children.