The Birdbath

Melancholic monsoon. It’s like a thick, damp rug has been heaved over my town. My shoulders don’t feel equipped to carry my share of its sodden weight. Everyone around me seems to be lifting it just fine, though. I look outside the window and steel myself against the interminable Grey. I slither out of the…

Peanuts

I held a ladle in one hand and a slim paperback in the other. The objective was to roast three cups of raw peanuts over a low flame, until they had browned evenly. Two cups for me, to blend into a smooth butter. One cup for my mother, to crush and temper as needed. I’d…

Just something to do

It’s 10pm on a sweltering summer night, and my parents are sitting on the kitchen floor. Heads bent, legs crossed, glasses perched high on their noses, they patiently pick apart a jackfruit. Bleary-eyed, I shuffle into the kitchen and (half-heartedly) offer to help. They slip a few golden slivers of the fruit into my hands…

Sweet

Break of dawn. The cuckoo yawns and gives her wings a good shake to let the sleep tumble out of her feathers. Paintbrush in beak, she hops over to the ivory pools of water left behind from last night’s storm. Dip. Dip dip. And now, she sets off on her morning flight. Her paintbrush leaves…

46

A sliver of rice white tiles on the floor of our courtyard. A slab of sun-burnt cement on a rooftop two hundred and fifty miles away. The smooth, brown slope of your nose, just before it melts into the well of your eye. Tree number 46 in cherry blossom park. All six feet of a…

The Transformative Magic of a Vegetable Market

Five things I saw: glossy red tomatoes nestled within the soft, floral folds of my bag. The swell and dip in the fabric of my shirt as I breathed in and out. A curtain of crisp, bright orange cones dangling in front of an ice cream cart. A beige sun hat with a lavender bow….

Gossamer

Do I still remember how to do this? Or has language turned its back on me after weeks of neglect? My words hang together precariously. By the threads of a faltering spider’s web. An infant’s breath could set them adrift. I am counting down to the inevitable snap. Notes from October / Things that keep…

Unsettled

On today’s episode of ‘There has to be a word for it’, I’m thinking of that strange feeling you get when you find yourself on the last page of a good book. Cousin of melancholy — from the mother’s side. Can mostly be found smoking borrowed blunts outside rundown garages. Thumbs chapbooks listlessly, and takes…

Draft 1

Fifty lines over three pages, and it’s just one name. Kalpana, Kalpana, Kalpana, Kalpana, Kalpana.