Bones lather
in my cone shell, disembodied, furloughed
of an unhinged nail
I remember the chimney blowing up in my nose
A smell I began to carry
Cold fish, stones, earth and salted rocks
A churning
in my pits,
wrists fraying, voices slivering

I own a frozen larynx
Where Alice comes and  dresses her dolls
Makes cotton beds and lends voices
to tiny women and men
some scurrying around, wraps and drapes, feathers and curtains
She sells me a dream
every time I shut my eyes
Blink blink, knights and queens
She kneads her hair, spectacles on
and wanders into the ambiguous squares
I say ‘shh’
and she says ‘hmm’
I say ‘shh’ and she says ‘hmm’
And we try to choke each other, vascular drain and coronary thrombosis
I say
‘ Alice,
I tried
( I tried )
You run now, you
and hide ‘

© Aakriti Kuntal
Picture : Aakriti Kuntal

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