Submissions open for Wingword Poetry Prize 2020

Grocery shopping as an artist

Diya Kandhari 

I see the drought of parched lips,
The disdainful shabbiness of comfort,
Cotton; oversized and torn,
Standing at one arm distance,
Like at school assemblies;
Banter chomping down on the uneasiness of the day.
Our baskets are full, and overflowing,
The lavish buy fresh meat and almond milk,
Chocolate drizzled strawberries,
The flamboyance of immoderation.
The woman in front of me,
Her child crying in her arms,
Buys some more time.
Her neighbour buys coarse grains,
And boiled rice, sells her taste buds
And her art for free.
The line grows shorter,
The cashier; more tired,
His hands wrapping up sadness with essential oils, despair with frozen meat,
Plastic bagging patience and fresh oxygen.
I walk further and I feel like I’m not walking at all,
My skin no longer feels like my own today,
Blue and veined, my words are newborns,
Buried under materialism,
My body still sore and uneasy,
In a world that doesn’t recognise my unease.
I see lines in front of everything but myself;
Abandoned bookshelves, crunching bones.
I see them placing toothbrush stands over poetry, firecrackers of child abuse over words.

And so when no else will,
I buy more of myself today.

 

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

Illustration by Dhanashree Pimputkar


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