Aakriti Kuntal: 3 poems


The sea sleeps in its eternal blackness.

I throw a stone

And the sea eats it.


I throw an arm,

A body, a smile, a tear, some cough

And the sea eats it.


The sea stretches from the horizon

To the cold forehead,

Covering everything in its feverish grey light.


I throw a clot of blood

And the sea, like a snake,

Coils into a watery dream.


Shivers like a serpent 

With its scales falling off, 

Scales like cotton skies


I throw a lie

And the sea catches it; 

Giggles and throws it right back at me.


The waves splash in my face;

Their sounds endlessly hiccupping in my ears.


I throw myself to the sea

And the sea inhales me.



Giant God of everything.

Sea Anemone

Your mouth swims in the dark sea.


Pulsating between currents.

Shifting like a Scorpio in shadows.


I hold your tongue

And it has the sweet, liquid shape


Of departure. We knew it would happen.

That moment the wires crossed


Each other and over the static

Our hearts beeped into a Fibonacci


Sequence. We knew that love extinguishes

Between two gasps. Quickly as a breath.


That is the time we live, we too would

Pop open like the anxiety in our heads.


Today, your eye is a sea anemone

From where I drink my sorrows.


Today, your eye is Jasmine itr

That has opened my senses


And the nose is bleeding in a conflagration

Of fragrances.


Today, your eye,

         Your eye,

Is a capsule of white light

And in it, our lonely faces search for each other.

  • Itr: Hindi word for perfume or scent


Words juggle in my belly.
They have lost the entirety of punctuation.

They float as a language in its neo-natal state,
language unborn.

What lay before a word, before you could spell?
Did everything disintegrate but you had no notion
of disintegration?

My lips twist around my tongue and my tongue slips
in the valleys of the jaw.

There is nothing as seismic as uncertainty.

It bounces on and off the chest like a tiny, orphaned lump.

I calculate days on my knuckles, count months.

     Test reports and Lab IDs spill between them. 

I wait. I wait endlessly. I'm always waiting for something

to happen.
This wait has filled me up and I have filled it.

I float inside it now.
Flowers pickle in my ears.

I roam like a lump of mass that rows in the night sea,

on and on. Where does this end?

This, this unwavering trepidation. I pluck clouds
with my eyes and chew twigs in my head. I am semi-solid,
floating in bits and pieces, unable to make sense of wholeness.

Wholeness is strange. Wholeness is absurd.

I only know shards, shards as they glow beneath the night

sky. I stand quietly in the balcony, not uttering a single word,

always wondering which of these days death will come back,

swooping in, feathered and beautiful, armed and ready,

to collect what it didn't the first time.

Aakriti Kuntal is a poet and writer from Gurugram, India. Her work has been featured in Selcouth Station, RASPUTIN: A Poetry Thread, Poetry at Sangam, Mad Swirl, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Hindu, Madras Courier, Pangolin Review, and Visual Verse among others. Her poem Lilith was recently nominated for the Best of the Net awards 2018-2019 by Pangolin Review. She was awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry and was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018.

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