At eighteen, you reenacted your childhood,
singing about climbing trees and breaking
necks, like one can’t occur without
the other. You knew your place in that house,
mouth swollen with hope, body bowing
gracelessly – too taut, too close to snapping.
I watched your mother shoveling dirt one night,
bored by the monotony of it all, searching for a
new life in the ground. She swallowed moonlight
thickly, in slow gulps and I thought of that girl who
touched you (there was a dog barking angrily that
evening). She didn’t know about all the other girls
(the smudged mascara and lipstick stains and my cat
watching you sleep fitfully, tossing and turning).
There was only an empty house, thighs spread
wide, and you rattling awake with a sigh.
Rachana Hegde is a sixteen-year-old poet from India who collects words and other oddities. Her work is a study in chaos and blurred memories, and she is dissonant in the company of strangers. Her poetry is forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly and Moonsick Magazine. You can find her reading, drowsy-eyed, or at http://ink-smudgedfingers.tumblr.com.