“big blue cat has a nose-ring!” two little dirty feet scamper straight into a polymer sky.

I sigh.

# pick lego bricks off my skin.
# pick crayon bits off my skin.
# pick stick figures off my skin.

“big blue cat has orange wings!” the duvet flies high. green. greener against a polymer sky.

I sigh.

# snip nettles off my brain.
# snip dreams off my brain.
# snip fatigue off my brain.

“you know, big blue cat can make it rain?” comics dance insane upon a polymer sky.

I sigh.

# bundle conscience in my chest.
# bundle peace in my chest.
# bundle myself in my chest.

and sigh.

“look hun, up up and up I fly!”

©Mohana Das

Linked to D’verse Meeting the Bar, List Poetry


untamed yellow thorn creeps over an abandoned bed. she threw her ballet shoes in the bin. all she wears now is a defaced womb that bleeds most days.

his heart is a triangle of newsprint. Kargil ’99. some chewed off tribune’s orphaned page. rain lacquers with moss shared metres of checkered floor now.

even the pinned butterflies have left.

You have access in my bone and existential structure.[…] Which means you are inside of me in a way no one is or shall ever be. Don’t ask me how I know that. My senses belong passionately to you; you are in me as the relaxing shower drops touch gently my skin; you are in me as the sea waves echo when they crush the beach rocks. You are in me when I lie – as I do now- in bed, paralyzed by the sluggish, dull rhythm of life. You are the air in me delightfully nourishing my small brain, so crammed with unusual perplexities.You are in me like a stillborn pain refusing to be washed off. You are in me like the sun’s spots of quivering light merged with whirling blood and flesh. You are in me in these supposed to be “poetical” corny lines. And I know it will never be enough. I live with knowing that in a way which is not profound anymore; In a cruel, real, remorseless way of no return. How pathetic – I live with solely that.

-Frida Kahlo, “You are me”

and the river went her way

Fireflies had their hearts torn out. Carcasses lay bobbing on crescendos. We had a pockmarked sky. We had stars that had burnt out.

My hands were seaweeds.

Sometimes when the rain falls hesitant on my vertebrae, I stuff my screams in time and knit nostalgia. From the walls of my arteries, all those old songs you sung to me late night recall themselves with their meanings misplaced. Music drips like wax on the roots of my hair. Our silence smolders the limitlessness between us.

I wait for him to reclaim my soul.

Quietly the darkness rises. Quietly I float in the depths of Lethe.

It was a night of storms when he took back his promise and left.

7 days later I quit my job

the last time i had written a poem i was a whore, fucking every random verse, my skin layered with the grimness of flaws. now in a shiny blue box (with a lid) i am slowly oozing ectoplasm.

“i will vanish,” i promise what remains of me.

there goes my toes, my legs, my fingers. there goes my arms. there goes my chest, my half-bitten face. the blue butterflies are gone. my best friend doesn’t take my calls.

“did you see my heart? the left auricle, did you see it?”

i run bare feet on floors of marble. i run clutching my chest, my id sets off alarms all across town. “i am on fire,” i scream and no one gives a damn. professionalism is all about being someone you can hate without guilt. i plant myself before a computer, its jaws agape with newness, and glare back into its stifling glare. no, this is not about writing codes. or challenging history. or disseminating. or introspecting. or anything you think it is.

this is about waiting till you explode.

the air-con whizzes above ceilings that crush. everything is shiny and glass and false. i forget the last time i tasted fresh. i forget the taste of rain. barred windows kick sunlight back to the hills. my eyes sink lower in their sockets till all i see is continuity. all day i watch the atmosphere drumming on their flat faces. tired it bursts into paranoia. and i cannot breath.

“can you lend me oxygen?” i ask the girl in the next chair.

“that is forbidden! don’t utter that word here!”

i panic, flap my arms around desperate to fly. suddenly i am crippled. claustrophobic. i am walking the edge of parapets ten stories high. the walls swoop down. “an invite,” i smile. in a city of trams, my parents celebrate their daughter’s job with expensive joy.

999 km away, secretly i google sleeping pills. anything to help me die. then return to the parapet in the middle of the night.

“i am glad i don’t have wings.”

roads twist into pretzels. the lights are lost. i run in loops. i run again. i run till my mouth drips naphthalene blood. it rains ash on the hills next door.


35 degrees half
-way you


sunset is fractured

i spin and the air is lemonade

so i pick up stratosphere cubes, freeze
them next door

then feed time to hungry dogs at ten

35 degrees more i
swim inside

lick your berry-heart

you talk biology i gasp oxygen


too hungry after feeding the dogs at ten.

©Mohana Das

Linked to D’verse