2 min read


           forget the clever small talk. everyone is rising to it, 

laughter bubbling into our noses. the afternoon’s 

privacy spends itself like sunlight on our faces. 

our limbs are warm with sleep and yesterday’s 

bewilderment—“that’s us? are you sure that’s us?” 

you would imagine we’d never seen you 

and you’d never seen us before. 

               we spread across the courtyard in a

haze of limbs and the summer rises above

us like a golden bloom; forget the world—

brown skin draped over trembling bones

some sulky, breath magnolia and 

words thunderstorms we toss phalsa 

into our mouths and laugh bloody. 

some others lie on cotton laps and spread

 their hair like linen on a line 

like fever dreams on dark sultry nights 

and we brush our fingers over 

the spine, 

dreamy and distant 

bursting targola between our teeth 

and smiling pink 

               river in spate laughters crash and heave 

we search in every line 

of every page for ourselves. we touch our

bodies with surprised fingers to search for

these breasts and jasmine freckles 

and rope twisted waists; 

the legs and the lotus blossoming in between; 

the hair lustrous and modestly braided— 

we find these creatures masquerading 

as us— these characters written for 

sex or homes or graves. 

               we wonder whose eyes you borrowed 

they cannot be yours— 

you must be blind. look at us 

soft silk hard silhouettes lying across each

other so light(ning) in blue 

you must not have found the words 

to say we eclipsed you so thoroughly you 

had to scrape away everything we are 

to turn us into your halo. 

               we sigh 

before the evening recalls us. 

you are, 

the verdict is delivered— 

a poor lover 

and a worse 

much worse writer 


Samyuktha Iyer was born in Chennai and raised in Pune. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She writes about the world she sees, the ways of the people she has lived with and of questions she struggles with herself, both in verse and in prose. Her work has been published in journals like Live Wire, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal and Rust+Moth.

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