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It’s near midnight here
soon to be the last day of the year
I’m killing time
my only perpetration of murder

unless you count the smashed roaches and other bugs

that my Dad and the Jains count
but I don’t

they sweep the ground in front of themselves
to avoid stepping on ants

Dad would say a prayer for bugs that hit his windshield
as he gripped the wheel two-handed on our doomed summer vacations

accidents happen
they always will
and maybe

to you


and you won’t experience
one second
of the new year

or any of the ten
in the countdown to it

and when they sing
Auld Lang Syne

it’s you
they’ll be thinking of


– M.T. Karthik, Pondicherry, 12/30/2022