from the corner of my eye

flat is one of my much loved words. flat plains of the Ganga. flat boron-breasted skies. flat screen TVs. then there is the flat i hate. the one that reminds me of frozen claustrophobia, stacked into ugly cubes.

i also love caldera.

and amanuensis.

my best friend speaks in a tongue no one else does. (i feed him random lists on rainy noons.) his words tickle my backbone. he says i must laugh more often. “i have bombs in place of alveoli. shut up and pick me a flower.”

he plucks me an ode. i wear it in my purple hair, behind my ear.

“get more piercings,” he says. on most days i hate him.

on others, i teach him to spell c-a-l-d-e-r-a. afterwards we swim, infinity swirling wet around our ankles. fish-like. almost fish-like. these are the days when the skies are flat, boron-breasted. he sings me patchwork songs underwater and the jealous sky strums her flat sternum into oblong waves.

but sometimes i love him too.

pomegranates burst, expelling sticky redness on the secrecy of quiet lanes. i tell him how much i’d love to visit Anatolia. the withheld boredom in his eyes shifts, perches on the hollow of my neck.

immediately, i quaver.

he smiles.

somewhere over his shoulder, a tiny star catches fire.

©Mohana Das

This is the first of a series of poems. Read the other two here:

Part II: on this side of the phone
Part III: in a heartbeat


18 thoughts on “from the corner of my eye

  1. love the imagery in this…the singing of patchwork songs underwater is very cool and how the boredom in his eyes shifts…ha – it is cool when stars catch fire – even though they’re tiny…

  2. Groovy piece. Love- “afterwards we swim, infinity swirling wet around our ankles. fish-like. almost fish-like.” & “pomegranates burst, expelling sticky redness on quiet lanes.”

  3. Like the idea of the different kinds of flat and I don’t think I’ve ever heard boron-breasted before…And I love the idea of plucking an ode and singing patchwork songs, especially if they are underwater…

  4. Really like the creativity of this piece. And the idea of someone speaking in a language no one else does and being fed lists on a rainy day. That could sustain a person for quite a while, I think! Also enjoyed the idea of a tiny star catching fire.

  5. Waves of love that come and go.. waves of words that stay and come.. waves of life that further grow.. ways of tolerance and acceptance that makes love grow.. is the message i hear in words…here..true..:)

    where the love of different..

    is the love of same..

    as love is love

    as same as love..:)

  6. A super interesting piece, Mohana, and a new favorite–the ins and outs of feeling for a person and words and how these chameleon experiences are reflected in the way we see the world, weather, sky–very creatively put together and vividly experienced by the reader too. k.

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