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Sayali Apr 2019
Some summers,
My poem is a makeshift home,
It’s cheap tarpaulin hanging by two sticks,
You won’t notice it,
It’s barely even seen,
Let alone stand out,
There are no commuters,
No visitors,
My poem is a makeshift home,
It has unfamiliar cookware resting on its jagged platform,
Sometimes the plastic leaks of sunlight,
And I drown in its shallow puddles,
It’s mostly worn out letters with fatigued arms,
Wrongly fit pieces of a puzzle,
Some summers,
My poem is a makeshift home,
Sayali Apr 2019
Your head,
A taxing mess,
An echo of 100 voices screaming frantically,
In a burning stadium,
It’ll dispatch you an invoice made of invincible paper,
Of sleep and appetite,
Of scruffily chewed nail tips.
Your dog will be okay,
It’s an inflammatory bump,
Your plant hasn’t died,
The green it shows now has not been accounted yet,
Even by the computers,
The curve is not so steep,
That poem,
Not so shoddy,
Stop swelling illusory bridges with concrete,
Your head is resting on a very thin sheet of ice,
Stop jostling,
Or you will drown
Sayali Aug 2018
My grandfather passed away on a dewy September morning;
About 17 years ago;
My grandmothers glass eyes still draw a picture of fright in front of me;
I remember as she sat silently for hours;
Cold , vulnerable;
As if she was robbed of her breath;
Since then she has sliced her life into two parts;
Before baba, after baba.
Yesterday as we sorted her cupboard;
Over hot chai;
I asked her about a saree;
" I think it was before baba" she says , like an unconditioned reflex , an involuntary knee ****;
They don't teach you how to love like that anymore;
Love like this swallows dictionaries and renders meanings, meaningless;
It moves mountains and drowns rivers;
It spoons the hatred and vaults it.
My grandmother never went to school;
Even at 24 today, whenever I see her;
She presses a 500Rs note into my fist and asks me to buy something sweet for myself;
Last time she did that, she told me he taught her how to count money after they were married;
And to say words like "curd" and "rice";
Every year on his death anniversary;
She still cooks food for people;
With a metal rod holding the bones in her thighs;
And pressing the bleeding points of her psoriatic palms;
She keeps adding cards to her monument;
And remembers love;
In hushed muted tones;
In lemon pickles and measures of salt;
And in a way that stuns me the most;
Without even realising.
Sayali Aug 2018
A thin film of air quarantines the words,

And toggles them into reverse,

Settling them back under the tongues.

The eardrums condensed by a deep warble,

Nothing heard, nothing said,

The pupils swelling like planets through a telescope lens,

Tired eyes gazing, as time flings itself in sepia and grain,

Planting memories of twilights on a park bench after a rusty Monday,

As you looked over a five year old dressed as a ballerina,

Of subtle brushes of the fingertips,

While you walk into the grocery shop in your robe,

The throat starts to build a lump,

And translating it into a warm feeling,

You stay rooted,


The eyes,






And love again,

In Radio silence.
Sayali Apr 2018
To **** a mockingbird,
Is a sin,
Like holding a full bloomed rose by its neck and snapping it,
(ii) To **** a mockingbird,
Is a sin,
They have eyes that reflect like diamonds,
Churned with the rarest shade of indigo and the tiniest bit of white,
They have warm hands and dainty wrists,
Their bones are fragile,
Their knees bruise easily,
Hair sways like a golden storm,
(iii)The mockingbird,
Hums tunes they hear,
They don't fabricate any of their own,
They're an open book,
A page everyone knows will not hurt with its words, (iv) But we wait,
Wait for the worst to drown everything innocent we have,
Watch as the mockingbird is painfully murdered,
As we pick up their weight in tiny coffins on our chests,
And then quote again,
" it is a sin to **** a mockingbird "

— The End —