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the shape of space


A triangle is a long face of a space. Love is a situation with confusion stretching into a pipe dream with three tails. I seek intervention from the sky. What about Murphy’s law? What are the odds of you liking vegan food? I stand in the far corners forgetting that dimensions are abused rhetoric. Amma says the intersection of three roads is an omen of probable bad things. She says I make everything sound like a tragedy, but it is just life. She forgets that my mangalsutra - the sacred thread smeared in turmeric and touched by five women (whose husbands are alive) – has three knots. Convenience is a caboodle. Amma doesn’t realise that three in a relationship is becoming such a crowd. 


Two twos are four walls, two twos are four walls. There's nothing more to it. We are now back to square one of a silenced home with no doorknobs. 


All that remains of a pentagon is violence. Five is a fissured fist. Think of firing, fires, and frames of screams. Sometimes, a shape can be a reminder of grief. In other times, it is a set of lines out of which we make maths.

the discipline of disappearance

In the staggered clumsiness, an afternoon coils into a secret. We peel oranges together, our vulnerability: a damned pause on a face missing an eye. My anxiety is a habit of refusals and I know you're trying. You pull out a cassette by Smashing Pumpkins and play it on a tape recorder, some old school stuff that we connect with. My tongue is laced with tobacco and an extra fear of I-don't-know. You talk about how urban spaces are 'figuratively fake'. I think I like it here. Anonymity is the toothpaste I prefer to keep it clean. You talk about roots, belonging, homesick - all in half of half a breath without knowing that I am running away from them. Seeking is more than a method, more than 'I told you so'. For you, exploration is an escape. But disowning is not dismissal. As we take off each other's skin, I wonder how much of your nudity can I hold? In that moment, I want to be unimportant, to be the star behind the clouds, to be there but not there.

Poornima Laxmeshwar resides in Bangalore and works as a technical writer for a living. Her poems have been published in national and international journals of repute. Her books of poetry include ‘Anything but Poetry’ (Writers Workshop), ‘Thirteen’ - a chapbook, (Yavanika Press) and 'Strings Attached', (Red River).

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