September 23, 2021 by The Citron Review
by Sudha Balagopal
Her recipe instructions say, “Use your nose,” so he holds the paper close―it smells like her hands, of turmeric and ginger―
he then gathers the listed ingredients breathing in lingering scents: shampooed hair in Basmati rice, morning breath in cinnamon, perfumed wrist in saffron strands,
sniff-sniffing while stirring in seasonings, nose hovering above the aroma,
before he surrenders to a yearning urgency, lifting steaming spoonful to mouth, only to spit-spit-spit into the sink,
after which, he yanks open the freezer, warms a chunk of the biryani she made when leaving for the hospital, inhales, inhales, inhales, her.
Sudha Balagopal’s short fiction appears in Fractured Lit, Monkeybicycle, and Smokelong Quarterly among other journals. Her novella-in-flash, Things I Can’t Tell Amma, is forthcoming from Ad Hoc Fiction. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions and is listed in the Wigleaf Top 50 in 2021.