language

 

by Aisha Noorani 

 

Language, perhaps, is not merely the endless attachment of letters to letters, and words to words. Perhaps, it is all and everything that can evoke something in you and me, or I and we. Perhaps, words allow the enslaved to be free,

the differences to finally agree,

the blind to see,

the hurt to be healed slowly,

the lost to find life’s precious key,

the silenced to witness an answer to their plea,

the friends to disagree,

the minds to develop progressively,

the hearts to flutter and flee,

the unjust to hear the final decree,

the broken to not be,

the people to live liberally,

and all that happens with the letters a to z.

 

 

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on unsplash.

dear sister

 

by Zoe Sorenson

 

Your plants are still here.

I guess that’s kinda obvious

since you couldn’t really fit multiple potted plants

(or stupid kid-brothers)

in the one duffle bag you packed when

you decided to leave forever.

 

Still, you loved them so much.

I kinda figured that, if anything, you’d

come back for them.

I don’t understand how you could

leave them behind.

 

You gave so much of yourself to

the things you loved—

your attention and care

became its own kind of magic.

Now would be a really good time

for you to use those superpowers of yours

to reappear

and the plants can be happy again.

 

It’s only been a little while since you left,

but already they’re starting to wilt.

I don’t know if it’s ‘cause of

the time that’s passed,

or if they somehow know that you’re gone.

Maybe they’re just

grieving in the way they know best.

 

I’ve tried so hard to help.

I’ve tried so hard to keep alive

the one thing left of you.

But nothing I do is enough and

I’m going to lose them just like

I lost you so please

just come home. I need you

to fix it like you always do.

 

Your flowers miss you.

I miss you.

I want my big sister back.

 

 

 

Image by Yulia YasBe on shuttertsock.

perfect

 

By Deanne Elizabeth

 

And to you, this seems polished.

All that glitters, all I touch is gold.

But in the words of Paul Valéry:

‘I have failed to please my soul.’

 

Photo by Simi Iluyomade on Unsplash

in between the tragedies and vanities, we’ve got each other

 

By Manaswi Dawadi Rimal

I might seem distant.
Not just through the mountains and oceans between us, but also through the fog of my mood swings while I drown in the pool of my insecurities.
My overthinking, like a colony of ants following each other, threatens to overtake me.
But I got you.

I am me and you are you.
I won’t let the ‘me’ of myself let you feel any less the ‘you’ of  yours.
I won’t let you feel how distant we are, because we are not. Not in the ways that matter.

I am in your heart.
When you randomly smile in the middle of your hectic day.
I am in your mind.
When you cry in the middle of the night because you miss me.
I am crawling through your soul in your morning coffee as you sip it, along with the jokes I made about how I would get into you the way coffee would.
I am distant, but I am still with you, in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul.

It’s because of all of this, that I am able to let go of  you, and let you go.
But love and poetry isn’t all there is, because while you are you and I am me, we’ve still got this world to survive.

Love and poetry isn’t all there is, if we only see practically, but poetry is everything to both you and me. So maybe I will write a masterpiece of tragedies, and you will carve the tears and vanities into words, which the world will admire.
And we will break. Or not.

It doesn’t seem practical, but we are not practical beings, and we’ve got letters and postcards and phone calls and origamis and art and poetry.
Maybe we’ll recreate our own world, where I’ve got you no matter what and you’ve got me. Not like we own each other, but constant.
Like a heartbeat.
And the way we’ve got each other.

 

Photo by Andrew Ly on Unsplash

the universe was never as cruel as the moment it woke me up

 

by Eli Rooke

 

The cosmos forged me a new body

and I was finally made of stardust.

Constellations traced along my scars,

and the sun warmed me to my bones.

The galaxy embraced me, and it was love.

I held myself, and it was love.

 

The sky turned dark, as stars

suddenly fell from their places.

I became a shooting star,

and I was falling.

I was burning.

 

I held and clutched

at the warmth still blessed to my skin.

But in a moment of burning ash, I was awake.

I was back in skin, stretched tight over my soul

and back in breaths, caught in cages.

My body was cold.

 

–  The universe was never as cruel as the moment it woke me up.

 

About Eli Rooke:

Eli Rooke is a non-binary entity who enjoys writing queer stories, with a particular focus on trans journeys and experiences. They can usually be found playing god with original worlds and characters. Eli has a passion for collaborative storytelling, and believes the best stories are the ones created with others.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

dead butterfly in my belly

 

by Manaswi Dawadi Rimal

I was waiting for love,

just like they said.

My tears in his handkerchief,

his tears in my letters.

His smile in the tea I made,

my smile in his essence.

Our breaths fighting with each other,

against our locked lips,

like the rivers flowing through mountains.

 

But I felt the butterflies in my stomach
when her jhumka communicated with my shirt.

The butterflies were flying inside,

when my ear heard the sound of her walk.

Her walk rhyming with her ghungru.

 

I felt the rainbow in my soul,
when her hair was fighting with that air.

Even when her voice was sharp like a chisel,
I felt like fitting into that groove.

 

When her Saree laughed with the tune of classic,

That’s when I had butterflies.

Her kajal falling through her ocean, in the form of tears.

Nothing was more magical,

like pearls turned into grey.

They were more precious than her tears.

 

And no, it was not just tea.
It was the whiskey,

the rum,
the cocaine,

running through my blood
in the form of her reminiscence,

even when she was not around.

 

What do I do now?
Neither can I tell her,

nor can I leave him.

They said, ‘love is only for HIM,’
waiting for him on the white horse.

 

They said, ‘love is only for HIM,’

running towards me from the mustard field.

 

They said, ‘love is only for HIM,’

giving me his hand on the train or a bus.

 

They said, ‘love is only for HIM’

while he unbuttons my shirt and I submit myself.

 

But what if I want it to be her?

 

What if I run away with her on the horse,

in the plane,

in the mustard field,

riding in the train?

 

Why is it okay to do these things with him,

but not okay with her?

 

What if I want to unravel myself to her, not him?

 

The butterflies inside me have turned back into caterpillars and died,

with no hopes of being butterflies ever again, and so have I.

 

About Manaswi Dawadi Rimal:
Manaswi is a writer, adventure seeker, travel enthusiast. She is a foodie and happy go-lucky person who worked as a Bartender and Barista. She is doing her degree in Engineering and is involved in various clubs, volunteering and events.

Photo by Gursimrat Ganda on Unsplash