Asphyxiation at 0 degrees

Quiet, darling.
The moon is quiet, O U t s i D E a quiet sky.
Cloud-after-cloud, Goddess Hecate stands
mischievous smile, equations on your face
bronze splinters, fire web, warmth and prowling

Quiet, darling.
The cave is burning.
            log- /against/ -log
            fire- (around) -fire
Men with orange eyes,
with resin cheeks and tapestry mouths
sit and roast minutes on a pyre now you must.

Your feet are brown from all the soles you trampled on.
The fire burns.Men with orange eyes stare at you.
a man with orange stirring corneas.
Enters. you must.

© Aakriti Kuntal
Image source:




Give me swollen hands
Brandished, perforated, silver leek of rum
My mouth is a tangy trench
it yearns for terrible things

Place slender bones
beneath my tongue
Let me study their dents
where the earth burned and the meteor rejoiced
between saliva and epidermal forests
Skin hanging between teeth
truth like octopus on water trees
flesh inside flesh, color flossing cloth jaws

Give me arms, that take worms like love
that have entered the soil, its bloody wrath, its desolate entirety,
where men sleep forever, no different from lamb peel
rubber veins that have cuddled death and fallen stars,
their mass graves inside stem cells

Give me the parabolic breath of an awakened thumb, fingers that nibble and immerse in films of milk,
outstretched and clawing, with pink flesh combusting like powder,
where God served judgment too early, give me tiny deaths in my mouth,
I will lick them all
as my cheekbones slope like cement sinks
under the weight of dribbling water

Give me the color of falling light
Let me wear it on my face
the absoluteness of truth
prismatic lights, shadows and rims
Let me wear violet to red under this bleeding nose
maybe then you can see
The truth
that so aches to be seen

Haemoglobin Scratches

In these hands adjoined
I see blood
Blood, Like a curvature 
blood like a loose dialogue, stolen from the heel of my tongue
I drag, I drag
into where the words hang dry, paper weights onto lengthy bodies

I am standing 
in the arms of blood, 
Counting drop inside drop, 
as it saturates the color of my burning days
a dusty orange screen
a mesh, a filter, channels of red acupuncture points

I am a span of fingerprints
each bleeding its own tale
the lengths of fate, carved under wells and chopped wings

Let this rain harvest my head
My head spouting while irises retreat 
Let me attend the concert of life
and see why corner preludes corner, period eats circle and 
circle eats period
Let me fall into the burden of love
to see why it feels like blood
enormous and coursing
pumping and thrashing

Its bent fingers between my lips
Let me sink my teeth
and ingest, 
an uprise of hues 
Why blood erupts in seizures 
Like life in the face of death 

Image and words © Aakriti Kuntal



When I sit where the wind enters, marble sun smudged on balcony tiles, it profusely carves dialogues into
my breezy heart, I watch them gather soil from scattered roads
and build themselves tiny rocket wings

Then they begin to buzz, crickets in my mouth, my throat, my entangled violet being
I watch the day perspire, choke on my shoulder blades,
crisp lanterns hanging from threads
I watch as people rewind, go back to bed, resume a day that has already passed,
a day that has lived a thousand too many lives

I think of all the centuries that have bled, of men and wars, of history books and
rotten cotton
soaked in blood and sweat and cherry dreams
I think of great men and the harmonies that swept paddy fields
and of the dullness that rises again,
the nature of anti-matter to strike back, always, declared persistence

I think of all the nights that rolled into days only to have their throats slit
and hung at the altar of moon,
I think of the continuity of the system
the pervasive nature of darkness
How it will always find its way back into the hearts of men,
the audacity of all things foolish

I watch the sun eat the leaves, orange flames and gasoline licks
and I succumb, fall flat and rotate on my angled back,
swipes and crosses, the earth is rushing through me,
I know as my spine becomes a vein, a seed, a flower
I am spinning, curtailed in the arms of time
and I know that this moment is the only reality to life

 © Aakriti Kuntal
Image source : Image edits : Aakriti Kuntal

An Adulterated Bevy of Swans

Seclusion cuts my brain, sectors carved on parchment paper
I enter the circle, legs bound, inward and backward, pigmented swans in the backyard,
their color reduced to an adulterated egg white

The wounds of swirling butter, run like darkness,
A source without a source, an end without an end,
Their saltiness erasing matter from time
I have arrived once again into the cleaved mouths of the beaver
His wide jaw, 
my fingers poking, collecting the saliva
of a thousand dead things that shouldn't be, fluctuating lives under permeable thumbs 

I have arrived, my face picking the painted head
of backward clocks, tar and ink, reels bleeding beneath the nose
Here it is that death lurks 
like a coward beneath the doormat
Here it is that men quiver and animals scurry
Where the end seizes the neck, a lamenting corpse
yearning for its own funeral

I have arrived on single foot
Running my fingers through her vividly knotted hair
I have arrived where the children die, where hope is strangulated,
where Santa slips and where kites are desecrated
Every day inside human rooms
and on war streets 
I have arrived, once again, where humanity shows its first face
to the streaming dusk of childhood

Image and poem © Aakriti Kuntal

Cuts and Ribbons

The rose is a wash basin
I bend and drain the colors of washed daylight
Soft prickles, gristly porcupine scales, fingers escaping fingers

The pipeline likes to revolve, 
its convoluted sense of being stemming from my perforated smile
I hereby hold, the collective layers of body
and rob it of its molecular pride

Gooseflesh, bathing in general shades of scorpion eyes
I reflect, reflect, refract and scatter
shadows in milk and milk in flight 
Watch the mirrors begin, dissolve into a soaked resolution 
Suck the glass chips, stuff them into sparkling teeth
I am your split, I am my split

The rose is a void
and I am falling out
Unreeling this fractured sense of demise

Image and words © Aakriti Kuntal

Moist Conversations with a concave lens of life


Blue milk denting your sacrosanct bodies of glass.Gravity roping your hair.Tell me, how does it feel to flow incessantly.A surrender, thistle and ferns, all slobbery and cream coated. Fracking and fractured, bones and muscles cackling.

I want to know, of amalgamation, of infusion. Currents under growling lips and froth covered clouds seeping into bruised skin. They come and go. Imbue you with colors of their own. Breaths all muddled.
A tapestry that hangs, looms against the corroded back of time.Always curving.Bending to a nowhere.One that none see, but find themselves impregnated with.Like stones in their gooey stomach sacks.

Fields and water troughs, liquids and moisturized cans. Your nakedness is a march against the frailty of all bearings.Tell me how it is to be the observer at point C.
Shapeshifting mouths, cracking dancers. Limbs out of balance and bodies outnumbered by breaths, heaving, scratched and heaving.Does it drown you like it does some? The weight of lead as they scrub you with graphite bleed. Eloping thoughts, patched and cornered into blueberries and memories.

Tell me, is it too heavy? The insurmountable weight of all things breathing.

© Aakriti Kuntal

A Conjunction of Poets

These doors are breathless
Soaked in violets, carvings that disperse 
on flowing walls
It's majestic, isn't it darling 
How everything is fluid the moment 
your fingerprints scan my waistline

They think artists are doves with ribbon hats,
Lunatics on bicycles, how I sing in conjunction with them 
How I will always 
This room has condensed beneath your crystalline lip
I know as I struggle and leap
spread all over you, disfigure gently

I swallow the clutter in the clouds, stack it as beetle leaves
between my shadowed teeth, 
Suspend on your gray thighs,
rubble and dark matter, I am dreaming
Oh, how I'm dreaming 
Harvest slipping like clinging moons on my seismic neckline 
I can feel it, the authority of sun, your finger scales, 
the indentations, the gaps between your bones 
Their rhythm and ecstasy 
I know as your tongue twists my spine, bows and bouquets 
Your lip piercing my ear, 
my cherished skin
once again thrumming 
It knows, it has known for a while now
The pattern of two falling beats

© Aakriti Kuntal


Flap, shut, run, scram
Back, one-two, 60 degrees, 39 degrees
Flat and spinning verticals 
You and I, back and forth 
Looks at the walls squished, a spoonful of muscles,
a spoonful of light, a spoonful of colors, dust, flesh and life

How quickly 
we exchanged 
Matter over life, matter over death 
I ran into you, licked your apricot face, rolled and flicked
my tongue, yours ears appeasing my entangled intestines
I ran so fast, block into block into black 
across and around, tripping over streams of light

And now my mouth is a destiny
as are these arms that swallow walls and twist them
pour them in vases, milk and flowers
Filters and memories
We ran
Into and away
Into and away
Knowledge is in a decay
between skins that slide
Knowledge is in a decay
between skins that stick and eat
I consumed your refracted skin
and left my dangling cells all over you
Corpses and murderers 
We are always running
these days
Into and

Image and poem © Aakriti Kuntal 

Undulating Umbras

Death is a compound 
a process, 
a collective noun

Every day the trees bark
( gelatin folds of scorched carbon )
They howl,
in frequencies that we cannot hear

They have stood for too long
and they know
that death is a compound 
Not just a finality or an accident 
But a dilution 
It is a repetition 
until it is absorbed, until it is accepted 
until then
Death is a long gluey chewing gum
and my mouth is a vascular surgery 

Look at the clouds murder themselves,
then spread, prostrate on whale gray roads
Here it is that I stand
an observer, a victim,
a corpse, a child, a tree, a tree, a shrub
and death, 
death is a gown

© Aakriti Kuntal

Greetings from the Clouds

My face is unusual
It is lit, soft undertones, white powder brush
( swathed and layered, feathers and wavering ships )
The winter winds 
draw water crockery and wispy treasures
on this skeletal white plane, vertical and standing
Winter winds depart from my tongue
and infuse the length of glass with currents from
my past
A rendering of blue on a white milk dream

My eyes pop, irises stroked with spindles of green grass
The clouds stand
rebellious and loud
They stand in my backyard today;
jumping and hopping, 
wearing their restless rhythms like proud petal hats
A cacophony breaks under a sweltering hum
( underground sounds )

There are ripples
all over my balloon skin
Ripples of sewn thunder and relentless adventures 
My cheeks, paper drawings, a stampede of concentric circles
I am unusual, today
The clouds have gathered 
in my backyard 
And I am all tiny again
I am so tiny
I could fit anywhere

IMAGE AND POEM © Aakriti Kuntal


To Earbuds

Protrusions dwell on both your ends
Racing to a nearby infinity, are we?
Plastic blue, assembled in absolute neatness 
I wonder when they painted you, conferred your race upon you

Your spiralling ends, that purpose to eavesdrop on my conversations 
Rollercoaster wheels, grind, grind
drag and unwind
push, push
snaking in to probe

You are blue
I don not recognize you
You perpetrator
Are you a traitor, a friend, an immigrant, maybe a mere spectator ?
Are you tarnished and reduced
by conduct/ by measure ?
Is that melanin you wear?
Or are you a narcissist? Clean and pure, through flesh and bones, 
sans thought sans scope

Oh, I bite my lip, purple squirting 
Scaffolded skin, these abominable thoughts
then rolled into bins
For such nasty things don't grace the round lips of a round woman 
They must be curvy and frail
And afraid, 
forever afraid

© Aakriti Kuntal
Image source : Pablo Buffer 
Image Edits : Aakriti Kuntal