Our conversations end mid-sentence.
Our stories hang on bones.
The split-second splitting of eardrums.
Tube-lights, iron rods, switchboards.
My spine is a high-voltage shock.
All pawns standing have fallen down, crisscrossed.
Some burnt, some charred.
Someone's hand is on my shoulder,
a stomach cushions my head.
The exhaust fan is on my chest,
a disembodied finger carries a briefcase yet.
A shoe has left its feet - the puce of near-death.
Mumbai '06, 11th July, 5:53 pm
reeks in chorus of smoke,
air riffs in rose quartz.
As the evening sun-wheels,
death comes in pressure cookers,
copper wires dangling.
Wreck, wretch, wreathing
- entrails of deadening silence
in fire, nickel, gunmetal.
Dissected battleship of RDX, ammonium nitrate.
The ruptures of a cinerous breathing.
Italy, Lima, Madrid, London,
Moscow, Istanbul, or Brussels.
I could have been anywhere
in gainsboro and platinum,
When I stumble upon the train station,
ghosts walk up to me.
I can see their screams and sirens.
My heart is a bomb.
And we wait for it to explode.
An alumna of Iowa's International Writing Program and Charles Wallace writer's fellowship, Stirling, Rochelle Potkar is a widely anthologized writer and the winner of the 2016 Open Road Review story contest for The Leaves of the Deodar.