Two poems by Aakriti Kuntal

An event in the neighbourhood

I adopt
a movement
like air

Wading along the mind’s eye
through the obvious,
the oblivious,

the steam of all perspiring things

The moon
stares at nothing—
cold eye of the sky,
the quality of a stone
in its eternal passiveness

Someone died
in the house behind the house

There are no signs here, in my garden,
only the ellipse of faint knowledge

I sit cross-legged
in my chair,
breeze flowing, sparks between scissor-feet
I perch,
a bamboo spiral,
nearly immortal
in the half-stasis of heaving air

I perch,
inconspicuously into a bleak nothingness

Pale, oblong rain
strumming against flaps of salmon skin

Someone died
in the house behind the house

And suddenly,
death too seems
as uneventful and minuscule as life


Something fluid
in the collarbone
Something that slithers,
that watches,
with a keen button eye

A lonely diamond in a tilted mouth,
a sparkle
The bewildered night
like a jewel between sacks of clotted skies

I surmise I am asleep
and the shadow of life
is perched on my chest
Arched against the limestone ceiling,
strumming my empty cotton breast,
mocking its plain lifelike desires

Water boils,
inundates the petticoat

I’m afloat

Something tells me that my ear is being chewed
and that my body
is a long, long never-ending lie

Something moves around my saline neck,
Something unspeakable and bright behind every corner of the eye
Something vivid,
and bloodlike
Almost like life,
Almost like death,
but something between the two—


Aakriti Kuntal is a poet and writer. Her work has been featured in Selcouth Station, The Hindu, Madras Courier, Tuck Magazine, Pangolin Review, and Visual Verse among others.  She was also awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry and was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018. 

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