Two rounds, something snapped
i sniff at every room i enter, expecting blood everywhere. starting from between my thighs onto the wall. this is a healthy habit.
i check the stove a couple of times for a gas leak. deaths should be as deliberate as the skeleton of your body on my bed. could say there’s some history there.
in my mind, a trail of catpiss. in my mind, the fire die out as I wait.
last night, baba played begum akhtar. again and again; that woman who yearned to die, that woman who confided in strange men in strange places. her strappy voice cut through my veins letting open a river. the air was salt. only so much colour i could scrape off the nails. my eyes swivel to the old winkowl and pause, lids heavy with secrets. This is not the night I die. when the dreams come, i welcome it. despite the crushing feeling of inadequate reality, after. when I leave this space, i will leave no gaping hole.
seventeen times I woke up last night, seventeen times I missed a train.
there was little to take off, but the nails fought back. the colours faded not enough.
a crochet of blood later, we ate at each other. disciplined the storms in our chests. nudged calves into creases. chased the crest and then the fall, so soon, too soon.
so less, too less.
if there is a noose, i don’t die today.
if there is a noose.
such a shame the patch outlived the planter.
(Srishti Dutta Chowdhury)