Guwahati, day2.

The rains are home. Guwahati has been flooded. Under my skin, a sudden vacuum has replaced every other thing. Suddenly I’m walking without bones.

Something like a bag of blood.

A bag of shadows.

There isn’t even an hour to ask myself why. Because there is no why. I had volunteered, walking right into a blinding black hole. And there is no escape now.

So under my skin, there are atoms discharging their souls. Everything is plasma-like. Only thinner. So much that plasma is a hollow, contracting around my ribcage till there are fake stars blossoming all over my borrowed sky.

There is this city, her background woven of hills. Brocade woods melt nonchalantly into urbanity. Nothing has a border. Nothing wears a smile. Days pass in counting hours. Hours in little blasts that I mostly ignore.

When I stand under the shower i can finally see the burns.

Mornings tilt and are swallowed from an empty cup. Afternoons have been scraped. When I think of nights, I no more think of love. My heart is already broken and I am an intercepted sigh.

A bird shot down mid-flight.

I regret asking the Goddess atop the hill for peace. I should have asked Her for death instead.


I am a flashing alibi.

The moon is being treated for amenorrhea. Her heart is a lump of uranium. Startled, the cat jumps forth, chars his furry tail. I mouth a careless prayer.

Everything is breath.

Every breath a proposition.

The boy I fucked last Christmas called me a witch. Now Salem wears a mushroom on her crown. Read the future in the fissures of memory, I had told him. And I tell you again. Next door, men with blubber on their nape discuss half-lives. Bedrooms stink of cabbage and meat. Someone plays a mouth-organ.

At 16, I had magicked my room to ash. The window expands. My heart is a lump of uranium.

Let me tempt you into falling.


……………….“i am not scared”
she describes the rolling fields of
a scarlet east, the sun stowing
moonlight in his backpocket-

………………..“i am yet to see a viaduct”
the veins jump out of her skin-
stone-paper-scissor- light is treacle,
thick in the creeks of her tongue

………………..“its just a matter of time”
she talks of chemicals, phoenix tears-
her skull is a land of barrenness
shining dauntless against all fears

………………..“little birdie has a broken nose”
everything leans against everything.
walls are pockmarked with hope.
her gold-eyed God must be listening-

………………..“maa, i will be home.”

©Mohana Das

Linked to D’verse Poetics

because it is 1465 kilometres in between

because it is 1465 kilometres in between-

even on nights when i hear you
sobbing in secret,
i can’t rush to you

blue veins of rain tremble with despair
i talk to myself of loneliness, her evil ash face-

it doesn’t let me sleep.

because it is 1465 kilometres in between-

even when you complain of headache and
your coffee runs cold,
i can’t rush to you

wintry trees unbutton their amber leaves
and i talk to myself of aspirins, the harm they do-

it doesn’t let me sleep.

because it is 1465 kilometres in between-

even if a stray song sings me
into your thought,
i can’t rush to you.

distance blows melancholy in broken sighs
and i talk to myself of love, if it really does heal-

it doesn’t let me sleep.

©Mohana Das


I didn’t know your name. My breasts were yet to bloom. Summer laid shivering silver under the doormat. The code was dengue.

Conviction is our neighbor’s moth. Months of mango have long since desiccated on solar opals. Discussions drip greasy contraltos. Everyone reflects in degrees of chlorine now. Everyone but me. The night you had caught my eyes, I had caught fire.

Under the bed, I sat hunched with a biology book. I had failed maths. And menstruation, too.

I didn’t know your name. So I assigned you hieroglyphs. Late one noon, one of their anthers dehisced. I knew your pheromones by heart. I knew how they hammered me inside out. The underside of my flesh is still the color of liver-blood.

Your eyes would never travel south. Indifference had begun to sprout buds of rebellion. At 15, I was a battlefield.

I forget the season of gold mist. I forget the hour she baptised me. Tides swim awkwardly as I fantasise your mouth in mine. The air is metal. I taste radioactivity. You draw paisleys on a square inch of skin. You draw till seismology is a one word song.

Time will condense to a magnolia of ether-moon. My constellation has assumed your name.


i always wanted you to catch fire.

everytime i dangle on a precipice, tongue lolling out (the weight, a ferric aftertaste): i know

my spine is merely a deciduous laugh. somebody remembers you holding a different set of hands in the rain. an expression of abandonment. i remember exploding

so i let you condense vacuum on my skin

this chill is euphoria.

talk to me of neurotransmitters. magnetic fields. put your hand flat on my sternum. yes, on that very bone between my breasts. the one that makes me a bird. count the moles. forget that i can breath. there are no maps to me.

instead ants march sacrilegious in a cross. there are umbras. there are dainty pearl moths. there is you without me plus me without you. talks of vaccination (i call this a disease now)

i do not know if coherence can suffice:

i want you past those magnetic fields. past your hand motionless on my sternum. i want you light-years beneath the surface of me. a cataclysm. come here.

down the 3:45a

di. two twos are no more four. the streets erupt in blasts of atrocious fluorescence. i suck in a sackful of air. and the atmosphere is a little green woman with lung cancer. methyl. your mouth tastes something like like. the rain scavenges upwards in brittle lines. everything is Plasticine. she sits hunched, coughs up phlegm. thunderbirds will come home soon. i will croon to you. your thigh taut against mine. the inside of me is no more the inside of me. even before the big bang, i knew. galaxies are crayoned with lipstick. gutters brim. my spine is riveted desire. tryptamine. i forget my name, watch you collapse. a bird beats under your skin. i want to eat your heart out. the little green woman is ash. her eyes are garnets seething with life.

Linked to D’verse

From Lt.Bourke Street

10°C, my torrid bones are freezing. The street is a river of glossy black caramel, spreading out at both ends, before hugging herself, narrowing again. Condensation is sweet quinine. It had rained all of yesterday. The trees are bare. I can’t name them. Wordlessly I assign them to the bright purple poinsettias back home. Mrs. Parma’s is quiet after dolling away the preceding night. Sans the glare, she looks less intimidating. I stare at the foreign-ness of the atmosphere. Spun sugar-candy. The taste sticking to my palate. Cul-de-sacs fold into themselves, melt away in scentless symphonies of glass and steel. Today the morning had blushed silver on the walls of the Ovolo. With the duvet pulled up to my chin, I had stood before the mirror, still wearing the letters I had written you on my skin. Still unposted. Still alive. The skies are already a solid blue, roofing Parliament station in thin sheets of translucency. I had wanted to ring you up after getting in drunk last night. Craving the primal heat of intimacy. This ache is still a mystery. A recursive mystery. Relentlessly chasing me. A silver haired lady in a green sweater keeps me company in the loneliness. Later in the Yarra, we would talk of Calcutta and the IPL. I cross the wiry street a hundred times, trying to warm up under layers of borrowed wool and think of the beaches at Lorne. Think of your voice. All those unanswered calls. Emails. The trams are still in bed. I always wanted to say I love you. I don’t know why I did not. Maybe the rain will return. Soon. This city is garnered in folds of black and grey. Everything sparkles, sings to me in bee-lipped accents. I lean against the lamp post, smile at nothingness. You should come every season, because every season the magic is new, the lady from Tasmania whispers.


Linked to D’verse Meeting the Bar