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