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Every March 

Something floods

                     This house 

the wind conspires 

And breaks the latch open 

Things that we forgot mattered 

Float out

Upside down

a pair of slippers, a comb? A body 

               a box of kittens, 

                         the neighbor’s cat birthed last night 

               an umbrella and a useless drawer of pins

Things we forgot that mattered 

                         the water just serves it all 

Like a dish you didn’t order 

In a lonely restaurant at the corner of the street

Even you 

               refuse to sink

Your face is anchored into the pillow 

               and I can’t help but wonder how long till the sun hits your face 

Upside down 

You choose to stay afloat 

I leave my midnight guilt behind

When there is a flood 

No one prepares you 

for all the things you must leave behind 

                         for the things you can only let drown.

Losing My Sense of Smell

Brewing tales all winter

The trees stand tall

And when words fall like leaves

I walk on the ground

Swirling with poetry

Sticky with the gum of passion

I am half sick of words

I cannot manage

With your words alone 


Even if your skin is the syntax

And touch a language

I can no longer learn

I am letting the flowers speak

The dried, crushed ones

The nameless ones growing in the dumpster

That don’t really smell like anything

My nose can no longer be trusted

I am sniffing out the whole of this season

Out of your palms

Summer is another word and so is grief

Both carrying something so strange

I can’t even name it

Swarnika Ahuja is an assistant professor in the Department of English, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, GGSIPU. She is also an MPhil scholar in Delhi University. She has presented her papers in both national and international academic conferences. Her work has appeared in an anthology of poetry titled Monsoons: A Collection of Poems, The Indian Periodical and is forthcoming in Ghost City Review.

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