Four poems

by Suchita Parikh Mundul

Mammography

After the maze of doors,
we walk towards the orb
of foretelling. No words
are spoken here
except for a single soliloquy
redressing my two heads
until they are one
or fewer. Reduced
to a fine line,
my conductor gestures
for me to be as calm
as a lake, and flattens
my world to see through
its skin like lace. One
by one, my lives
are placed in a room
heavy with lead,
and separated
into flesh and blood
as if each is autonomous.
After the topography
is studied, gloved hands
return me to myself, and like
liquid, I form the shape
of my vessel again.
The verdict is pronounced:
the landmass is infected,
its earth, rotting. Time
still flows, but it’ll stagnate
soon. No solution
appears before us, save
to clothe myself
in shadows, and follow
the descent of my breath.

Breasts

Like stemless flowers 
dying alongside each other, 

my breasts shrivel 
into sunless inexistence, 

each deflated convexity 
a bare stone rolling down 

the bone of my bone, 
tracing skeletal conversations, 

settling to the bottom of the sea, 
raising the water levels a smidge.

Woman

I measured it: four hip-clicks 
from the bed to the stance 
of a deity. The moon 
behind the head is a dome 
fed on history. 

A conversation in tongues, 
of elements of the body, 
roots through heaven 
like a search and rescue. 

A long neck (but not so long 
that it’s absurd; just enough 
to hold the possibility 
of life) oversees the stars. 

Two limbs double 
like colleagues in tandem. 
Heat generates a path, 
the scent of pheromones, 
and something else. 

A single word 
holds the body through years 
of devotion, whispered 
in secret, 
like release.

Domesticated 

Instead of cotton, she wears gossamer 
woven by spiderlings. She floats 
from room to room with the wind 
in her pallu. A feather duster 
extends from her hand 
like a wand, making cleaning
a breeze. Her limbs, attuned to chores, 
meld into household accoutrements. 
By the day’s end, she becomes 
square footage. 

The whispers of her ability to fly 
at will are accurate, but as ever, 
the gender divide is impassable.

pallu: a part of the sari draped over the shoulder

Author’s Bio:

Suchita Parikh-Mundul is a writer and copy editor. Her poems have appeared in literary magazines like Narrow Road, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Yugen Quest Review, Outlook India, Muse India, Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature, and anthologies such as Amity: peace poems (ed. Sahana Ahmed, Hawakal, 2022), The Well-Earned (ed. Kiriti Sengupta, Hawakal, 2022), and international compilations. Her articles have appeared in print magazines as well as websites.

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