Calculus Notes on Turmeric By Palak Parikh

  1. Calculus Notes on Turmeric
  2. I. Turmeric: derivative of terra merita, Latin for “deserving earth”
    1. A. I am the daughter of farmers. My mulch-weathered dark feet are tangible of pedigree
      1. 1.Great-grandpapa washed his face in
      1. 2. dark soil. Massaged cow’s urine to make a cup
      1. 3. of black & white mocha
    1. B. Indians are known to worship the earth. Loam & all. Ground
      1. 1. a worshipped devi. Mother Sita, mother earth. Late night
      1. 2. parties of golden spiced carols
      1. 3. shoved into a campfire of curry & dirt
    1. C. From where we birth
      1. 1. Nani smothered me with fuller’s earth. Mongers,
      1. 2. we were called. Pink American
      1. 3. baby turned brown
      1. 4. One bungled kiss from grandpapa’s
      1. 5. charred dry lips
    1. D. From where we die. Indians are burned
      1. 1. our singed ashes tossed into sacred
      1. 2. puddles. Left nibbling
    1. E. of unearthed beauty: green
      1. 1. Flesh eaten wounds meander
      1. 2. my soul. Cultivated in our farm, my name
      1. 3. is the spinach fronds mistaken for
      1. 4. me, the earth
  1. II. Turmeric: integral of tumere, Latin for “to swell”
    1. A. Disease
      1. 1.Hyperpigmentation: I souse my nail beds in makhani. But swathed with roti before intercourse. Golden discharge past cooked flour, fifty buck acrylics tarnished. My boyfriend doesn’t hold my hand. Laughter at lunch. I sever my nails, yellow hues darken to red.
      2. 2. Jaundice: I wear mama’s hand-me-downs for pooja. White kurtas & dupattas are hard to come by, she says. Saffron & sandalwood blister my bodice. Corroding white chiffon & white blood cells. A hushed temple of prayer, I stand. Breasts tinted my white friend’s blonde hair.
      3. 3. Virus: Muffled peddlers, deities, guava kiosks. A fractured yellow veil blinds me, flirting with the smog & the gossip. The dark man unsheathes a fistful of mutants into the oil. Parging softened dregs on his scalp. Augmented swirls searing antibodies and onions, single handed invasion. One yellow. Mulled. Hijack
    2. B. Healing

By Palak Parikh


Palak Parikh is an emerging Indian-American writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is intrigued with writing as a means to foster female empowerment and connect with first generation Americans. She often explores topics like feminism, race, and cultural mongrelization. She has been recognized by the California State PTA and Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. When she is not writing, Palak enjoys drinking coffee and trying new exotic foods!

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