death is a shallow pit

dadi, through her wrinkled eyes
and tired voice sings a song of
longing, whenever she speaks-
she swears by god, her body
is a battlefield, only god knows
how scars can be so gentle. she
strokes a broke hair's nest aside,
and when i ask her of life- she forgets,
like a gramophone on loop, she
tells me about the time she woke
up and felt as if something had
eaten her up from the inside;
she doesn't speak; i hear-
imagine, child: the universe is
an ice cream truck, and god, an
invisible hand within it; imagine,
a silver scoop dive headfirst into you,
imagine a juxtaposition of amavas
and poonam, dream, child; on her
cheek, humbling hydrology, it is no
wonder her voice cracks- the silence
that we share is a reminder, and
she tells me, one day she woke up and
felt like an ominous telegraph, and
how the bile swirling inside her felt
like the economic hand of god, trying
to prophesize at an anna per word, and
how, later that day, she received a
messenger, and how her brother's death
got lost in a prescribed transliteration.

how is she so calm, i think as i dunk an
oreo in a glass of warmth- beyond
the cacophony of her pushing me to
eat one more, i see oreo; oreo is wild,
she is brown sandwiched between white, i
see barks interrogating her, i watch
her walk up to me, i see her mesmerised
by my shoelaces, i pick her up and make
a new friend. she never comes inside, but
i watch her memorise my timetable, and
one day, i wake up feeling like i've swallowed
a smartphone, i feel its phantom vibrating, the
number looks ominous, truecaller says it's
god, and when i pick up- god gives me a
number plate, and tells me not to call the police,
i think about how later that day, i received
a messenger, i think about how the intensity
of pixels doesn't do justice to despair;

despair- it is a censored day-dream,
it is civil, it doesn't barge in and become an
unwanted guest not open to arbitration, it
is about as civil as vacuum could be. an
ice cream truck approaches, but we are unable
to listen to its sound- there is no medium but despair.

in memoriam, we dunk and eat
and drink up to wash away.


Hetvi is an undergraduate student based in India and the co-founder of hariandhetu - an art & lit zineletter, interested in the relationship between art and technology, amongst other things. Her work has appeared in Backslash Lit, the Narrow Road Journal, etc. You can find hetvi on twitter @vuisnotabot and instagram @cosmicbhejafry.