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2 poems by Aamiya Dhillon

Art by Elmer Bischoff

the summer of growing up

there were lives I would’ve lived

beach soil and sweat on my knees, running, slipping, falling then laughter in

waves, rounds of town; navigating bylanes with caution- stepping into the summer

of growing up and

jealous glances shunted across the room, dress and size and wit compared,

blitzing like the sequins of the skirt she never bought and then music; lyrics painted

over that would remind me later of the summer of growing up

a sunday in one bed, another on the floor mattress- awkward conversation with a

parent as we crashed at their house for the third time that week, weeks spent

idle in the heat of a cruel summer; watching unexpected rain against car windows with

music or laughter in

waves, memories of beach soil and wooden floor as the accumulated exhaustion

sent me to sleep

and then this life, the least likely scenario alive, a summer of growing up;

three days of not showering and my reflection a bare-faced reminder-

music, laughter too- sourdough and dancing and writing one day and immobility

the next-

but laughter, or wisdom, or faces dearer now that they sit afar

we could never decide on a movie before, but we exhaust libraries now- huddled

apart but the streaming synced in; paused in unison the lives we could’ve lived,

rewriting expectations, spectating summer

growing up

three months of waking up at three

you're a person not a body (but my body is tired), contorting into a person not

a being (unidimensional, cardinal/central/secondary align towards monotony)

rooms spin (I don't like feeling spinny, I had said, falling onto the bed), and

furniture catapults out the balcony (they've done up their house with exposed


I'm a person not a body, I cut my hair uneven because my person is greater than

my body, I eat one meal a day, turn nocturnal because I'm a person now, body

forgotten and then the body clocks out and the person slumps against the brick


Aamiya Dhillon is an undergraduate student at Ashoka University who spends her time navigating Zoom, her kitchen and on good days, hiking trails. You can find her work on and


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