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In death’s living room by Ruby Singha

Art by Matthijs Maris

In death’s living room

I was born in the season of death,

Weather withers, singareis of yesterday

laces the decaying edge of the lumbering loom of loam In its proximity, vulnerability: I rejoice of death in sweet scents, cologne on his old shirt left after a ‘so long’. The ripe leaves fall, leave trunks –their mother’s home When rust has tinted from across and within,

Phanek wrapped around me at the time of birth is a mellow brown, of old linen – my skin scrubbed in pale sun. Dining table legs rotting its foot in mud floor

of a century old house

and cupboards already buried underneath,

My ailing chest resting on brioche knit sweater of last winter, maffles words from the yellow back;

I have learnt how the four walls choke you

and that taught me patience of dying,

dying to know, see: unfettered grudge of curiosity. Olive green leaves, purple florets shed their color on my diary Chapped ochre on blank white, also ambered,

I have waited for humans in wilting hope

In skeletal agony they hoop in their sleep, I sigh. Their voices are so dead. I do not listen anymore. And when death aspires, you’ll find me then

Alighting from the tree house,

lacerating in diagrammatic rhythm, and

flying off somewhere far and wild unseen

Reliving, dead.

(Meitei words: Singarei –night jasmine; Phanek - wrap-around worn by Meitei women)

Ruby's writing can be found at She often finds herself pillowed on poetry and prose with pizza, hence the name.


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