Kathi Stafford, a corporate attorney, graduated from the Master of Professional Writing program at the University of Southern California with a poetry concentration. She has been both poetry editor and senior editor at Southern California Review. Her poetry, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in many journals, such as Rattle, Hiram Poetry Review, Connecticut River Review, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, and Southern California Review. Her poetry has been anthologized in Chopin and Cherries and Sea of Alone: Poems for Hitchcock





Near Belur Temple


The playful daughter of a Hillman is feeding jackfruit
to a black-fingered monkey . . .             Kapilar


The girl can’t stop herself.  The monkey
keeps begging and she goes on handing
him treats, piece after piece.

Cardamom blankets
the evening scent.  Incense
burns behind bushes.

She’s anxious—knows her pet
will have a tummy ache,
but  hands him jackfruit again,

Because the planets are beginning
to glow along the horizon.  Soon clouds
will dip down their holy smells.

She pulls her turquoise sari
close around her skinny self.
The silk a present from the older sister,

the grave one who played the mother
but can always bring the child.


Chennakesava Temple, Belur, India.

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