the way you spit on the floor. like it was home to today’s
wars. the electric peril that rushes under her skin.
primitive lips bleeding unable to speak.
& you lick the peeled skin of verbena curls. &
the burning city salivates beneath rotten orange teeth
and charred breath. the entire road is now rind of smoked lungs.
the way the asphalt lugs in the air & ricochets back to you.
it reminds you of how your skin spawns weaponry, breathes gasoline.
steals smiles off skipping daughters.
prickles each eyelash soaked in heartbeats,
that you so

exuberantly calcify once their dresses
are torn and their families turn against them.
they dig roots with their umbilicals & joke callously
in the mud ponds where they can eat a delicious meal.
where their brothers go to their father’s temples.
Didi tucks herself in a narrow pen of feathers.
Didi pawns her toes for the barefoot cracking.
Didi has a blood-pink face ’cause she won’t stop singing so loudly.
now she’s being cut open so they can tune her larynx to the right frequency.
now she’s a sweeping veil that only knows one word: Yes.

Amika Sethia is a high school student from India. Her work has been previously published in Kloud 9, Delhi Poetry Slam, L’Éphémère Review and The Louisville Review. When she isn’t writing, you can find her in the depths of a mystical book, or dreaming too much.

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