left © Priscilla Luclas
Chestnut ringlets splayed on a pillow.
the abandon of a toddler slumber.
Just minutes before, you shouted with glee
amarillo, azul, morado, not one bit sleepy.
Joyfully calling out the hues of the stars
projected by a night light in your little room.
Seven years before, a hemisphere away.
In the chill of the desert night
I could make out the Southern Cross,
but the rest of the universe eluded me,
struck mute by the expanse of a grand firmament.
Mother moon loomed, Pachamama lay in wait
for a vocabulary I had not yet conceived.
Neela Nandyal received a M.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and studied creative writing at The Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis. She will be spending the 2015-16 academic year living and writing in Argentina, Chile, and Costa Rica.