Four poems

    by Suchita Parikh Mundul


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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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