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


some people grow up like me, some the way
i wish. but then it is
often (=always) a game of circumstance:

those that can impose a new memory on an old
-forget the underlying print-
escape. some try shaking off links,
leave out certain tastes, places, smells.
even certain degrees of light.

but most slowly crumble inside and
are gone in a way no one ever

for example, i. sometimes when it
rains i am a bird. sometimes the rain runs
down my shin in slow lines. it is strange anaethesia.
and i can hardly tell how capsaicin seethes
on tastebuds. even salt is a dead song.

after maa died, i gave up everything i loved.
and swore to waste away. yes,
exactly this way, in permanent denial.
it is all sillage, nothing more.

secretly i still crave her crisp mourola bhaja

©Mohana Das

mourola= Indian anchovy


wednesday, 25th june

13:00. A white and blue steamer bobs slightly. Abandoned. Through the blast of chill, I can see her face. Eyes shut. Breathes rusty. Anchored close to a supposition I know nothing about. A love. To whoever classified the living and the non living- you were wrong. Didn’t you hear how on afternoons like this, when the storm is real, even metal grows a heart, assumes a life of its own?

I am drenched. Fabrics push themselves against the skeleton. The heat around my thighs is teething. I want to unravel myself into every flower out there. Let the rain tattoo every inch of me. Stem and stigma. And salt skin. Flat faceless masses of kochuripana float downstream. Torn apart by the current. Unite. There is no shore. No song. Not to my left. Not to my right. Suspended precariously in the uneven light, I sit on a wet wooden bench. Strain my eyes through the savage dance. Find nothing. Right here in the middle of nowhere. Unmoored.

The skies are grey. The river is grey. And fat grey droplets swallow us whole. And the grey expands. On the retina, this film appears so grainy. And I know there will be no sleep tonight. The graininess will jump out from crevasses of memory and punish me. Strike straight at my lungs. In an indiscernible fluorescence, I will sketch the arch of your back. Rub sand paper all over. And begin again.

Wait to bleed.

1:00. Waterlogged streets. The rain runs its green tongue over bulbous halogens, up along poles painted with aluminium. And smells of fish. I still think of floating. Bearing-less.

I sometimes wonder if you are a meteor. The way you had crashed into my daylight and set me on fire. The mirror has been removed. It stands at the far end of the corridor now. Spiders spin spittle in her silvery cracks. Outside trees bend. Mostly obtuse. Pipes are ripe with deluge. Arteries draw redness inside. Contract. In between sleep and sleeplessness, there hangs another state. Sometimes I have to bruise my face in the pillow. But I have never touched myself.

Instead I have chosen to wait for you.


i wear your taste across my
collar bone. the earth gasps underneath,
footprints sink in the mud of wistfulness-
rainless twilights: you’ve always frightened me.
overhead, flowerpots topple, and buds
hang from parapets, osculating
shadows of black-livered clouds.
then there are moments of effulgence,
crows connect dots in space-
hours of gorgeous storms.

there are things you
know. and things i know.
things we never say, accept
nonetheless. but darling, i love it this way-
the feel of wet earth squirming
‘tween my toes, the warmth of
your eyes heavy on the river of green
snaking down my neck.

©Mohana Das


red vines pop against walls,
unspin themselves
off gravity, then falter
like a pair of pin-hole eyes.

she wears her scars agape-
an unmoored Arachne- spins
metamorphosis down her
dystopic limbs.

this march is cold.

clouds wilt with grace.
i feed on a carcass of air.

©Mohana Das

Photo: Deconstructing the spiral


you leave in your wake scentlessness.
the static zaps, and suddenly under
my skin, i am haemorrhaging. blackbird-

no, the rain didn’t come. and i didn’t
have a word. or an apology. chalk-
mouthed, i folded in the hurt. feigned
sleep. and the pickled April heat
sung to me all night. and all night i swore to
hate you and hated myself. nothing

stung. everything was a black hole.

©Mohana Das



She wanted you to let her leave. And you never wondered why. You overlooked everything. Even in summer, the trees were bare. Everyone is different. And she was so damaged, it hurt her to face the light. And no, her eyes hold nothing. The afternoon was gradually slipping into a memoir of bitter almonds.

And you overlooked everything. She trembled. She panicked. Hell rose in deep black waves and crashed upon her skin. You overlooked how pain oozed through the cracks. Or why she answered nothing. You bring up no ghosts from the past. Yet she wants to run somewhere far. She thought you different and she was so wrong. Like always. Like every time. And temperature hangs shimmering in her neglected tresses. Disappointment, you called her. But she was screaming on the inside all the while and you chose to ignore. As if red-ink scratches and nameless grades mattered more. As if they could save her from running blades down her wrists. You never wondered what made her want to leave, what made her brown knuckles so curiously pale. You didn’t care to see what the tiny redness of her mouth said. Right then she hated you. Right then she wanted to set fire to every line she ever wrote you. You will never know what it is to look in the mirror and see a monster. What it is to an anomaly. And even if she said, you will gift her indifference with knitted eyebrows.

You weren’t there when she needed you the most. And she hadn’t slept for two days. Flitting instead along shadows and ribboned heat. Collapsing. But you overlooked everything. As if she could ruin you exactly how you desire being ruined. But she’s left and there is no trail. Perhaps she wanted you to hate her. Perhaps you will never see her again.


colors wilt. the
summer hangs high on
her forehead, spurts

blood. my palms are nets
of lines that grow, collide,
fish ambiguity. and

suddenly constellations are nothing
but jealous wishes. from the other
side of the mirror, she
whimpers- come closer. her

lips are parched. i can
see the fear in her eyes, burning
hungry over her hollow-ness-

i can see myself reducing, i say,
quietly as time ticks her Soul off- i will
metamorphose into you

©Mohana Das

Lined to d’verse Meeting the bar