I ask again to be served the difference

between cha and chai

over a meal I cannot refuse


            and mother invites me to taste

                        how well cha

                        mixes with samosas

                                    and how funny chai

                                    rolls off the tongue


            as if regional disputes

            on the other side of the

                        inflatable globe

            she bought me last Christmas


will matter in five months when it’s



            and father says Jamal and Yasmeen

            won’t be able to come over now

                        as if they ever could before


or in four more months when it’s

                                                            Patriot Day


            and sister texts me a warning

                        to not get blown up

                        as my tongue meets his


or now

            as I tell them how he pronounces it



                        And how Chai tastes better with




Anishka Duggal is an American poet born to Canadian immigrants. Currently, she lives between Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cirque Journal, New South, Inlandia, Austin Poets International’s Di-verse-city Anthology, and elsewhere.

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