There are men I would have loved to eat like
air but most days I have the appetite for little
more than sodden biscuits out of air-tight
jars, threatening to crumble like a hijacked
airplane flying over an ocean.
It crashed beside my bed once and dissolved
into smoke so dense that it rained for days
and had you not found this poem, I would
have been among the casualties.
Most days, I am little more than a flow, like
water unmet with any resistance, pooling by my
sides like sweat straight from the Lazarus pit
of evergreen perspiration.
The sweat does not leave behind stains. It
raises fertile civilizations of edible men
bursting with scorn and trading in shame.
I break a lot more than sweat. Break out like
fire in a children’s school, tragedy manifold.
Break down in the middle of every lap of
of the rat race, burrow into the fire at every
achievement that is not mine, and hibernate
in the ashes.
When the baton was passed to me, the fire
atop it became the rat’s tail, twisting in the
trap and had you not found this poem, you
wouldn’t have set it free.
There are also days when I kiss like the
earth with eyes thrown open like dug-up pits and
the rods and cones leaping off the edge
after having spun and spun about the tilted,
Already beyond the man, the mood, the
moment, with restless thoughts and restless
feet tapping away to the beats of the
I exist between the glitch and the static, like
aether that’s void, yet, abuzz with life, habitated
by scornful men and bustling rats in streets
that reek of my sweat and suck one in like a
sloppy French kiss.
From there I emerge every now and then
and like a woman touched in the head, catch
morsels of normalcy on my tongue, to
finally recede back to my venus flytrap.
Nishtha Tripathi is a law student who writes to seek refuge from the rigours of law. Her works have featured in the Nightingale and Sparrow Magazine, the Teen Belle Magazine, the Versfication, among others. When not writing she can be found dilly dallying her way through college assignments.