Rings in eyes ())))))))
systolic cords ——-++–++++~~
vacate cells +– cells ::::: flesh
muscles crown shelf-casket kidney
osmosis is the song stitching itself in a white channi beak-light—*
the blood won’t balance
wh-at (o) are you cooking?
mouth. mouth. mouth.
contusion spark. spark –”””
parakeet blaze sound drags its lonely tail into the black sea
borders of vomit
odour is the sentence that clawed out
hung, hung curd in ladder rings
aura of fevers temperature cones in breath
make it solid
in the bone, in the bright shoulder-teeth
blades helicopters fan-glass ears
make blood a cube,
rubic’s puzzle complete
Whitener on the exam sheet
who am I altering??
in the side clock of the mirror—a half-turkey
pipeline skin projection n n projectionnnn
each half-image kicks another
and a fine beast emerges
outside life’s rim
alteration paste cut. copy. paste. edit. edit. space bars in neuralgia
DNA, pickle the blood
smell it. taste
moulds. termites. dandelions. ant-architects. sketches. wallpaper.
ink. ink. blood
cut. copy. paste.
Bright toaster throat,
whose blanched leg droops from the half cheek?
you could not solve the rhythm of walking
so you cooked, cooked, cooked it
are those feet
or nails in OMR sheets
AC generators over eyes
or solar storms on screens
the molar mass of all life,
a séance from morphine peaks
shower taps over hair
or that one droplet of water in the cod-egg ear with its pancake destiny
F = ma
‘ma’, the first syllable puncturing everything
I soap needles in mints
and dunk the hair in sunbeams
the cricket is the head—
its betadine shell traces one round lobe of nothing
Call it life. call it life. call it life.
won’t you, scab skin?
* Channi is a Hindi word for a siever.
(S) (E) (?) (L) (F)
I am sick to death of this particular self*
and yet self looms like a cut blade from the fan
It is packed in the fawn-kilt of liver purses,
blob eye—hawker of pills and memories
It is packed, it is stitched, and yet,
I could drag my tongue out and show you
It eludes the very eye that hosts
that it doesn’t reside within
perhaps, plotting on the eyelash?
A bout of mascara and it—it it itttt
between air and pus scratches
The body is a temple,
‘a temple’, you say
whose small tooth then desecrated it?
Self, slapped between thighs
stuck in white t–ube-ongue
rolling bindi °°••°° on mirror
centre of all
Cannot be traded
elusive shade of breath
Whose I sleeps adrift on the bone tonight?
*Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s quote “I’m sick to death of this particular self. I want another.”
Aakriti Kuntal is a poet and visual artist from India. Her work has been featured in Rasputin: A Poetry Thread, Poetry at Sangam, EKL Review, Visual Verse, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal among others. She was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018 and was nominated for Best of the Net.