Poems by Aakriti Kuntal




Spread out like a tangential curve,
perched on window balconies,

I would stare at each abraded line of the sun
The sky was my favorite thing, how if I lay

horizontally, departed from the forces of
gravity and the will of life, everything was united

A quiet murmur would rush across the diaphragm,
knots and levers humming slowly in joy

I was a djinn,
I didn’t belong to this planet


In the hospital room, a pigeon perched
on the tooth of a transmission tower

the flammable pink flakes on its neck
glistening at an unbearable rate

Pigeons, I know them, they have been constant
companions, pecking in hostel rooms, getting pregnant

right before my eyes, then laying insidious creatures
that slowly transformed into a yarn of mauve skin

The sky here is a white ceiling,
a large, yellow light attempts to disembowel the mind

I stare into its infinite brightness
Nothing returns


In my balcony, the leaves speak to each other
I can feel their electrical voices as my fingers

rush across their seamless lips
The sky is now spread across the vertical face of day,

coagulated and starched as if announcing its infinite
dominion over us, over all earth

In my balcony, a single sparrow,
the chirping so sweet it splits my skin



Black sheets of sound
whistle in the cartilage
The breeze has invaded

the closed buttons,
the rattling drawers,
phantom eels in embroidered attires

I walk into
the pure black mouth of a particle,
not a single light in the sky

I heave and all body wishes to escape

The trees have begun to dream again
Spooling in intimate corridors
a bridge of cold laughter

The trees have begun to dream again
In total blackness they stand
like cold metals shivering in lust

The transmission lines are squealing
I close my eyes,
my hands arched like bangles in ellipses

The transmission lines are squealing,
and in darkness I become whole and blind,
suddenly aware,

levitating in air,
my arms bound to the howling wind,
blood vowels in the sky

We lick each other
between white floss,
my body shuddering like a piece of torn cloth,
Then close into our sculped veins
Like blindness across white frays

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Aakriti Kuntal, aged 26, is a poet and writer from Gurugram, India. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Selcouth Station, RASPUTIN: A Poetry Thread, Mad Swirl, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Hindu, Madras Courier, Pangolin Review, and Visual Verse among others. She was awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry, and was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018.


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