Self-burial at dawn by Aditya Tiwari


Art by Balbir Kishan

At the genesis of dawn

They call for prayer:

Muslims kneel down

To pray to Allah,

While I yearn for

My beloved.

I look outside

The window, morning,

I dive in and slip

Into a thousand

Distorted noises.

The smell of fags:

Soft is the morning’s aura,

And there’s a wolf’s cry,

A murder of crows,

And graveyard’s grief,

All still as the silence of dawn.

After withering winters

Take another turn

Wisdom cries:

And last month,

On the last day:

Cocoa birds sang

Sweet ceremonials

For those buried

Under the veil of dawn.



Aditya Tiwari is a poet and queer activist. His first book of poems April is Lush (2019) received international acclaim and was featured on Lambda Literary in the spirit of uplifting the work of queer Indian artists. He writes on a variety of themes ranging from politics, colour, intersectionality, age, queerness, gender, and revolution. His writings have appeared in Firstpost, LiveWire, Feminism In India, Homegrown, Say It In Color Zine, Gaysi, and Rodwell Magazine, among others. He has been a Youth Economic Fellow and has also spoken at various literary festivals including New Delhi’s Rainbow Lit Fest, one of the largest LGBT literary festivals in India, Leeds LGBT+ Lit Fest, and Digital Pride Festival by The Queer Muslim Project in partnership with Instagram and The British Council and has been profiled on The Hindu, Museum of Queer Swipe Stories, Humans of Bombay, Gal-Dem, Vice, GQ, The Quint, The Swaddle, and others. Learn more about Aditya on Instagram and Twitter.


Balbir Krishan is a New York and New Delhi-based multimedia artist and Queer activist. His canvases,

drawings, and new media work explore societal and personal themes that include race, gender, sex and

sexuality, freedom, equality, love, hope, desire, pain and struggle. Balbir's work is informed by his autobiography, Indian mythology, human rights and social issues. Follow his work on Instagram @balbir_krishan