Deborah Thompson’s “Mishti Kukur”

How does the skin cry?
Newly widowed author Deborah Thompson travels to Kolkata and her husband’s family, and befriends “Mishti Kukur,” a stray ‘sweet dog.’  In Kolkata, fearing the unsanitary, everyone reminds her “Do not touch.” The loss of her husband’s touch drives an inexplicable need to gain the trust and touch of a stray dog. Thompson discovers an unexpected bond with her mother-in-law, both women understanding, “The craving of skin suddenly deprived of touch, a dissolution that consumes the body like leprosy. It’s the way the skin cries. Nobody talks about it. But widows know. Dogs know too” (Pushcart Prize XXXVI).

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