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12:00 AM, October 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 07, 2017



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.

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