by Ananda-mayi dasi

We’re in summer: our beds pocked
with dead songbirds: grey understatements.
A girl’s plain body turns

in a noose.  Everything lengthens—
her legs, her hair, the bell tone
of her laugh—until
her beauty sets her on the ground.

I watch you, my brother,
probe the garden, your strong back
to me & my exotic skin
hangs in the heat.  You’re digging
graves; you’re planting marigolds.


Ananda-mayi dasi lives and works as a nun in the Hindu
tradition of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and she spends most of her
time writing, cooking, and tending the temple at Madhuvan,
an ashram in the jungles of Costa Rica.  She holds an MFA
in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.  Her writing has
appeared in
Fourteen Hills, The Harmonist, and elsewhere,
and she is a columnist at

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 13, Number 2
(Fall 2018)

Copyright © 2018
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.