at daybreak, a ream is brought into the cosmos
and a wolf’s nightly cries spread gauze on a saltwater
wound. a fistfight breaks out and three blind men cauterize
a comrade’s woes, slip a palette knife over trauma.
the way my mother slices tomatoes, is slick meat
on scabbed knees. when i arrive as a leaping
lily’s cut stem – a reaper will whirl a hurricane in his nail beds,
a child underneath his squatting limbs.
once a dead man’s casket is grown into mildew by
a raging snowdrift. half-eaten, half-baked;
an apple pie – a tinge of a widow’s liver. here cacao
strains milk-sap into a babe’s tongue, laps it up like
my grandmother’s daschund. yesterday we put
him down; today his water bowl drips sonorous.
then, a drooping elm-oak fell to the ground. a little
angel-boy clipped his wings and hung them to dry.
in kindergarten, we peg crafts and arts. after naptime;
go outside and plant a sapling, suck dried succulents
into our teeth.
uproots a banyan tree and looks
towards the sky. an eagle in her clenches, grips a
hamster in cleaved feathers and lets out a wail.
Anoushka Kumar (she/her) is a student and writer from India, with work forthcoming or published in The Heritage Review, The Incandescent Review, Ayaskala and elsewhere. She likes wood-panelled flooring and Phoebe Bridgers. Find her at https://anoushkakumar.carrd.co.