The Marigolds

Brick wall whitewashed to look 
new old. Worn floors refinished, 
wood polished, shining. Mats 
a safe six feet apart in this, our 
first class in the yoga studio 
since being forced into solitary 
practice seven weeks ago. 
Faint acoustic music from the 
Bluetooth. Benign renditions of a 
change to come and my sweet
lord. Diffused patchouli mist 
tussles with the alcohol in 
homemade hand sanitizer. 
The instructor tells us when 
to breathe.

I was in India when the pandemic
took over the world.  One day
Holi, slapping powdered color on
friends and strangers alike, rubbing
it into their hair, more intimate in the
playfulness than we would be
otherwise. Bollywood bass lines 
thumping the speakers. Colors running
in rivers of sweat. The next day, 
weighing options. Can we get back 
into the States? I don’t want to
leave a thousand kindnesses. The 
drumming of the Shiva temple in the 
morning.  An entire nation of 
incense and marigolds.  Breathing, 
rhythmic, human yoga.  

Inhale, she says, arms above 
your head. Exhale, fall into forward 
bend, and we comply, an army 
of six following field commands in 
unison.  The tips of my fingers 
feel the hardness of the thin-matted 
floor.  In the position’s hold I 
think of the flower market in Jaipur, 
mounds of marigolds, like walking 
through the clouds of a Hindu heaven, 
fighting the urge to jump into one, 
the petals cushioning 
the fall.

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved

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