Amit Majmudar

Poem with Ginger in it
June 25, 2017 Majmudar Amit

Poem with Ginger in it


This rough hooked lump, this botched
antler of a dwarf moose,
this half-melted candelabrum

when skinned and cut
is clean and bright—
sun yellow, in cross section.

Wok full of broccoli,
forkful of forest fire:
Radicle incendiary, light me up.

Strip the paint off my throat
so that for two days, swallowing
my spit will feel like strep.

I love the pharyngeal singe.
I love the medicinal pain
that switches on a siren in my brain

and makes me pay attention
to my food.
Pepper is tepid,

cinnamon impotent.
Galangal, begone,
I’m on a binge—

it’s the heat in my chai,
the kick in my Moscow Mule,
my game-changer,

my aspirin, my acid, my fire in winter,
my pinch of Punjab, my ginger.

Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, translator, essayist, and diagnostic nuclear radiologist. Majmudar’s latest books are the poetry collection What He Did in Solitary (Knopf, 2020) and Godsong: A Verse Translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, with Commentary (Knopf/Penguin Random House India, 2018) as well as two novels published in India, Soar (Penguin Random House India, 2020) and Sitayana (Penguin Random House India, 2019). His novel Partitions (Holt/Metropolitan, 2011) was shortlisted for the HWA/Goldsboro Crown Prize for Historical Fiction and was named Best Debut Fiction of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and his second novel, The Abundance (Holt/Metropolitan, 2013), was selected for the Choose to Read Ohio Program. His poetry has appeared in The Best of the Best American Poetry 25th Anniversary Edition, numerous Best American Poetry anthologies, as well as the Norton Introduction to LiteratureThe New Yorker, and Poetry; his prose has appeared in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2017The Best American Essays 2018, and the New York Times. His first poetry collection, 0′,0′, was shortlisted for the Norma Farber Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, and his second collection, Heaven and Earth, won the Donald Justice Award. He also edited an anthology of political poetry, Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now (Knopf, 2017). Winner of the Anne Halley Prize and the Pushcart Prize, he served as Ohio’s first Poet Laureate. He practices diagnostic and nuclear radiology full-time in Westerville, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and daughter.