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2 poems by Aekta Khubchandani

the grey sheets

my body slips like butter fingers

my thoughts cradle like a song

being fed to goats before the pious act of sacrifice

between the grey sheets.

It tastes of rain drops and weed and pebbles.

It leaves me floating like torn paper in a windstorm.

And I cuddle skin and flesh

between shades of its grey,

hoping it’ll taste like paper cigarettes

and his memories will bend like a burnt bud

it’ll leave my body, disappear to dust in thin smoke

polluting someone else’s breath.

It’ll sound like a step mother’s lies

and the love will leave again like a broken toy

on a broken day without the grey sheets

you cuddled with him, in.


he looks down on me,

he looks down at me, mercilessly

he sees me change form, shape, weight, cloth

curl into a wool ball, lengthen my toe tips,

how my feet sink like disgusting quicksand,

how my palms, hands, fingers strangle breath

of feather soft pillows, how I claw my nails

in flesh of a lone bed from time to time.

he hears the echoes of silhouettes that follow me

the sound of my nightmares keep him up and about.

my feeble talks, the fragile bend of my body

surrender- surrender. – surrend-ing…

how my eyes are open when my eyelids are shut

like pasted with duct tape. I can’t move an inch

or a centimetre

can you see how my face frowns?

he cradles his neck at a distance, aches a noise

at a snail’s pace telling me that his haunting

presence is as persistent as my sleep paralysis.

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