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3 poems by Aswin Vijayan

Art by Vilhelm Hammershøi

Your Reward for Cleaning Windows is a Clean Window

Sunday smells of cigarettes as the cold ash-tray

fills up with Gold Flakes even before breakfast

and father busies himself in the kitchen helping mother.

Once breakfast is done, we gather together

to celebrate father being home for the weekend

by cleaning the house. He dusts the fans

as mother separates the clothes for washing – uniforms/

whites/work colours/sundries. Sister dusts the shelves,

I wipe the windows. Dad sweeps the floor and mom mops.

In the sparkling clean house, we enjoy afternoon tv

and lunch as rain falls hard on freshly-wiped windows.


Gravity is too much on our skins.

We drop onto wet earth,

loosed from the branch

to a dark uncertainty.

A leap of faith

or a tumble

into the dark


of mud.

When we are gathered up

will we be raw

sour to the bite

or slimy, overripe?

Bone Picking

On the damp soil we found a velvet antler:

remnants of a struggle left behind for us to find.

Aswin Vijayan is an Assistant Professor at the Zamorin’s Guruvayurappan College, Calicut and has an MA in Poetry from the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen's University Belfast. His poems have been published in The Bombay Literary Magazine, Verse of Silence, The Tangerine, and Coldnoon among others. He was a Guest Editor for Nether Quarterly’s revival issue and currently serves as the Managing Editor at The Quarantine Train. Follow his writing on Instagram here.


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