that calls for harshness
there is everything poetic about living
I write about joy a promising persimmon
in a closed fist I grow my nails
an unlit cigarette sweet maple
tree burnt and brown yellow
the sun is the brightest star the earth
knows that floats like a bird
steal crumbs of bread as a sin
from a murder of crows
wrap a warm wet towel 
around my deep cut thighs some things
I can do something about
my skin is the light of a lamp 
I buy black clothes
to prepare for the life yet to live
and wear it for festive occasions
the sun is a bowl of soup
my friend’s mother lives
her daughter dies of cancer 
the sky toned down
remember I started drinking
whiskey in high school
I used opaque paint and duct tape 
nothing holds water a friend 
whose funeral I didn’t go to
gave me a purple trinket box
with a mirror a year later
I think of it as my bed
smelling of disease I lose 
my friend at ten
a week later I buy roses and cut 
their heads to keep close stems 
of thorns when I touch them they hurt
I buy more black clothes
because repetition makes habit and
habit makes perfection but no sense
unless death is at the door 
my mouth is full of dirt water
two sycamores shed their skin
trees lose leaves and I wait to 
be numbed with starlight


Cover Art: Transitory Space, Brooklyn, NYC, #23A, by Leah Oates

Aekta Khubchandani

Aekta Khubchandani associates herself closely with water. She is a writer from Bombay. She is matriculating her dual MFA in Poetry & Nonfiction from The New School, where she works as Readings Coordinator. She is a teaching assistant for Illustration students at Parsons School of Design. She is the winner of the Breakout Prize 2022 in Poetry and The Baltimore Review’s Winter Poetry Contest. Her film, The New Normal, won the Best Microfilm award at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. Her work is published in Tupelo Quarterly, Pigeon Pages, Entropy, Speculative Nonfiction, Passages North, and elsewhere. Her work is nominated for Best American Short Fiction, Best Microfiction, Best Essays list, and Best of Net (Poetry). She’s working on two hybrid books.

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