Shruti Mungi

Again I think of the lady who frowned at my shoulders too much skin, too much life  she lies trapped in yards and yards of history not unraveling what does she know   how I carve pain on my arms   how I breathe it in and swaddle it like a child   it needs, feeds off me   my baby, the sharp pain I inhale   and I know I’m alive   I have to choose my words carefully   god can’t be real   god can’t care for so many burdened souls   I hold onto this thought like an injured bird   let it bite me in places it hurts   the smell of death is also the smell of incense   his body encased in glass can’t be dead if god exists   if god exists, his eyes are windows to where I want to be   not here   there are words I will not say    jaws clenching, eyes tearing up always    for fear that angels are not angels    their smiles will turn crooked if you look too long    just don’t look too long


This work has been published in Beetle Magazine's July 2020 Issue

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar

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