The Memory of Salt by Preeti Kaur Rajpal

Recipes After the 1984 Delhi Pogroms

Salt witnessed the burning city,
sung the first dirge.

Salt bottle the last kitchen. Salt crossed all oceans.
Salt sucked on sugar. Salt intimate with bitter.
Salt nude before taste. Salt mines nasal skins.
Salt tax to the cutting. Salt sand the rush music.
Salt rising blood. Salt the man’s release.
Salt thrown luck. Salt glass breaks.
Salt wound sting split. Salt black hair white streak.
Salt voter-lists fished. Salt singed flesh fire.
Salt flaring yellow sun. Salt politician’s speech the-day-after.

On the 99th commission the court suggests one more review

the killings happened

and if
the paperwork after the killings had been filed correctly.

Salt. Boil away the water.
The recipe calls for blood,
time and the upside-down man
in one spoon.
Preeti Kaur Rajpal grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She first began writing as a student of June Jordan in her Poetry for the People program. Her work can be found in The Sikh Review, qarrtsiluni, Spook Magazine, Jaggery Lit, and Blueshift Journal, among others. She is a recipient of The Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series fellowship in poetry for the 2017-2018 year. She can be found on the web at