Watch over the ginger boiling in the kitchen,
your epiglottal bile, the regurgitating sink,
the revolutionary protests of pipes.
Free fall into slaloming sleep, navigate
the mutilated men and mutinying bodies,
the expanding violence in your armour.
Dry heave over the chaos on your table,
brine your heart for longevity, but hold
yesterday’s telegram in your salty fingers,
read it aloud when you register the heat,
and pickle this moment before it leaves you.
Cut cleanly and sharply, out of compassion.
Choosing not to write it down is also a poem.
Shruti Rao is a literature postgraduate from India, currently pursuing her second Master’s in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice from the University of British Columbia. An editor and writer, her works have been published, or are forthcoming, in places like The International Literary Quarterly, Jaggery, Buzzfeed India, Firstpost, The Hindu, Helter Skelter, Reading Hour, Earthen Lamp Journal and Coldnoon Travel Poetics.
Illustration by Flavia Chan