Anoushka Kumar

ode to afternoons

content warning: death

the tenant above watson's hotel moves to
delhi again, and hey, isn't this what dreams
are made of? when you're puffing cigars
on your college roommate's terrace and mamma
tells you to put honey in chai like words aren't
caught in throats every speech-debate contest and
you don't toy with jute mats during family dinners.
like over spilled blood looks the same on marble.
papa tilts his head and asks you if she's in medical
this year, linoleum holds his disapproval. tut,
you've spilled glitter over the carpet again and god
she's exhausted, you know she's not a career woman
and when dada is pulled away on a stretcher she tells
you this is destiny. but now you're writing POETRY(?)
about it. this isn't your pain, your grief. this is a dumb
activist teen who reads kipling and rewrites endings
when all she needs to do-
is come for lunch on time.


Anoushka Kumar (she/her) is a student and writer from India, with work forthcoming or published in the Heritage Review, the Bitter Fruit Review and the Trouvaille Review. She is also on the editorial team of Cathartic Lit, Gossamer Lit and the Interstellar Review. When not writing, she can be found listening to Phoebe Bridgers, crying over poetry, and debating the queerness of complex female characters. Find her on instagram as @outofthebluewrites.