Two Haibuns | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 13, 2019

Two Haibuns


Once oysters are nowhere to be found, he searches for shunks. 130 Indian rupees for an hour of diving.

He spends hours, over years, under the glittering blue of coral. The last two minutes of holding his bubbles. As time expands, he follows the path of mollusks. Digging the seabed for reverberation trapped in chambers of white shells. Last gasps of lovers, or the singles who drowned from waterfall-selfies. The suicides holding murmurs of marine life. The ocean… their last whimpers.

Drawing out bodies, their hands intertwined - he earns extra notes from the government. Their mouths always open in surprise, eyes desolate like empty oysters, water snapshotting their stark breath.

Water graves that unite the logic of logging off, in a soundless lap of a new language. And he going deaf from staying too long with all those secrets.


the echo of fjords -

in the bedroom of marriages

white bangles


Chaise lounge

When the earth spins backwards, it displaces deserts, greenlands and rainforests over its face - volte-facing the imaginary axis, twilight zone.

When her head spins backwards… she shadowboxes boredom with the mixing of drinks, as her eyeshadows smudge. No TGIF’s for her. Or crumbling igloos in cold.

Reflections in club-toilet cisterns and cesspool gurgles. Raging against an output-driven world in a retro song-beat from the renegade flower children (of the 1970’s).

Theme party – hippie. Gypsy. Out of this world. Destiny’s children. Children of god.

When the world capitalizes the day, she lets the night run loose. Mad groundhog.

Her 30’s no different from her 17’s - slow strobe of wandering street lights, wolfing down tequila.


millennium silhouettes -

butts smouldering

on potholed galaxies


Feeling the catharsis of a life never lived, epiphanies never examined. Prolonging time, jutting out her tongue, addicted to selfies. She grows sleep like bonsai and cacti into her body.

When the earth spins backwards, it alters wind and oceanic currents.

When her head spins backwards, she changes from her tight dress to a bloated one for hangovers.

Crazy outsiders morning-jog, or jaunt to school, work, college as she remembers nameless boys, looking at the bloom of blue moon, fire raging through her belly. Watching the telly for stale news, chomping on celery, speaking to her family with a slur - a headache that craves a sip of pungency.

The freedom from mist, fire, ice, and never-ending pubescence.


frozen stars - 

half a glass of



A Charles Wallace Writer’s fellow, Rochelle Potkar is the author of The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories, Four Degrees of Separation, Paper Asylum. She has won numerous awards and her works have been published in The Best Asian Short Stories, Kitaab International, Wasafiri, Indian Literature, Asian Cha, and Chandrabhaga.

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