Letter from the Back Page at History Class

Dear Saroja,

I pray my paper cranes
one day meet
your paper boats
and never part.

But for that to happen
my paper crane has to crash
or your boat needs to fly.

This morning I realized
why our letters
come opened.
It isn’t mum or dad.

My little cousin
thinks his fleet
are real planes carrying
cluster, concrete, and other
aerial bombs to shoot down
your camps. For him,
Jaffna is another country
at war with us.

Sometimes I watch
the news and wonder
how he’s got it right.

Samodh Porawagamage writes about the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lankan Civil War, poverty and underdevelopment, and colonial and imperial atrocities. His poems have appeared in the anthology Out of Sri Lanka: Tamil, Sinhala & English Poetry from Sri Lanka and Its Diasporas (Bloodaxe Books) and a number of journals. His first book, becoming sam, is forthcoming from Burnside Review Press in 2024.