A Woman’s Blue

Inside the turbid head of the blue lake
a blue sky, a blue light, a blue mouth,
blue eyes, blue skin, skin in motion,
skin in water

Skin is sound, skin is concentric,
large wide gallops occur like age,
like music
the stagnant boil of winter
as she preserves her breath
Carefully weeding out
life from life
Splitting breath from breath
Such is the decoration of all time

I walk
above water
Between latent nights and
cold potato evenings
I walk on water
Gaze at a perforated universe
wrestling for vacuum inside tunnels
of bread-like feet

I walk
over water
Build an arc
with my arms of falling light
Skin is a lengthy delusion
as it reflects onto my face
The mockery of all light
Skin is a lengthy delusion
as it dances above my lip
‘Blue, blue, it’s a woman’s blue’
I say
as the lake sings beneath my feet

‘It’s a woman’s blue’
I say,
the lake filling my cheeks
A woman’s blue is like any other blue
but quieter, but stronger
Steady as the remorseless vow
of evening’s departed light


Image and Poem © Aakriti Kuntal 27-06-2017


‘ Time collects in the circle of this wound. Here you shall sprout:
full of color, full of vigor, complete as all light. ‘

Mother, I counted your skin
like the ceaseless motion
of tongue assessing the irregularity of jaw

You are a convex liquid armchair
rocking back and forth
time squeezing your lap
Your seeking hands are like lizards,
stagnant, then running
Cerulean eyes, cheeks of crepe
Palm trees circling
the diaphragm
to form
my pillow of orange lights

You said through feverishly gray lips
that spring is here
that a flower has birthed in your womb,
water, turquoise pools
Mediterranean swirls and violet streams
That you have solved
the anomaly of friction
And now you are afloat
in a vacuum
long, large
and quieter every second

I watched through umbilical
blinds and colloidal irises
Meteors in your baked body
I watched you detonate
You are a quark
caught under
the drift of a failing bloodstream

I can hear you
hurting like mountain faces being torn apart
ice, vapor, ice
a viscous cold forest

Murmuring to me
that spring is here

Clocks in your mouth, needle to Polaris
I can feel you detach
like an organ
Your finger pointing to the cactus,
wandering within
globular streams
of my neonatal body

Telling me, threads of severed lips parting
that spring is here, right here
A wound, tiny and capable
That I am being born
I am being born in different colors
colors of you, your face, your gentle running skin
I am being born
and spring is inside me
© Aakriti Kuntal Image Source: Flickr


Through Time and Body

Does body cremate itself in time
or is it time
that is cremated in the body?

Restless hours hang by the door knob
Quietly observing the spin of skin
Spewing black tar over trails, transparent skeletons become of days
Flaky matter, fingers decorated on walls, imprints, plaster chipping,
Valleys and paint recoloring marble squares

The shadow walks like a detached face
Purest in the night
Atom meeting atom, color killing color
Softly, swallowing all sounds,
it finds a way into the larynx, fingers spreading in the esophagus
Collecting the deepest lament of the voice

It draws a map beneath the eye,
the map of a noise, syllables squirming,
Rattlesnakes, seismic fractures in the
Invasion of air, invasion of dust

All light is a refugee in the body
Flitting scales, itch, flashes and glitter
All light is a purple throb

night slithers
Her ionized hair curtailing all movement of the skies


Image and poem © Aakriti Kuntal

Batman of Monte Cristo

I’ve come to know
you, your distant body,
its horizons
as you tread the uneven earth
Her lotuses always tearing your gel mouth

You, the Messiah, Batman of Monte Cristo
trying to save it all
to save yourself

I’ve known how to deflate in my
girth, sorrow meeting sorrow
As I think of you
walking again
Your cape of harrowing death, sickle bodies of broken Beethoven fingertips
across rivers: Mississippi and Ganges
Moist, weeping, ripples swallowing ripples
Pain is an infinitely adamant bowl.

Your skin is melting,
wax on a blank body, drifting shoulder blades
Its ceramic wavelengths burning across air suffocated fists of prismatic air, falling electrons, Diluted spectrum of agony
Skin ceasing to dust
Dust flooding my bones, dust chewing palm trees
Dust killing mountains

Your skin is melting
as you turn and bend and fall and fall and walk and fall and walk
Yet you take no notice, cellophane energies circling the iris,
Entire forests clinging to your
rotting hands, blood curled in starry cocoons

Telling me through embroidered bluish lips
how pain is the second skin of all beauty
And my two red feet,
once again,
wish to rise in dust.

Image and Words © Aakriti Kuntal


Hands-are-Shelves ( vi )

I walk
clementine circles of the palm
The palm is a pond
Cold distilled blues, purple haze howling
The disrupted cornea of a mountain
Frog after frog after frog sits, paddling feet occur in fumes
an assembly of dreamy amphibians

I am again
with my head of coarse grains
Traveling seas, inhaling grafted petals of dead salt,
dead salt in lost flesh, dead salt in lost gold

I am again
Dwelling outside frigid ice lips
as the word on the way to a poem
What is my existence outside of memory?

I am again
deducted and multiplied
Picking my thoughts with a pair of tongs
Rings of fire entertaining my feet
I wrap them around my finger,
and a bouquet of darkness
births from slit flesh

And I am again
As I think
what is this dream
that leaves its flesh among the jars of agony
kneads listless limbs into the dough of vacuum
All with a promise
of light under death

Image and poem © Aakriti Kuntal


Hands-are-Shelves ( v )

What is the reckoning of a misplaced arm
as the wrist
cuts through the atmosphere
Twice in each halved circle

Every harvest the body must disintegrate
Petunias in a fire sky
Boxes of red shaved skin, skin after skin, mind after mind,
body unto matter, dead wolves, dead fish, dead clouds

I pick the remnants, membrane dispersed in membrane
Roaming unabashedly on granite patches
hopping on a single leg, a toothpick scratching square to square
Perimeter of this redder enclave

Death came first as five thousand chopped winter heads
breaking the dam of that certain summer
into tiny coagulated beings of redness
A streaming face, sunrise into sunset, over and over and over

A nail on the forehead, iron fists
It came as containers of cold splashing blood
wearing mammal tongue
A sundial face of indigenous love
What is it that love cannot hold, cannot take, cannot kill
once sworn? Love even swallows itself.

It came
under the quietness of open skin, seepage,
a clock of dusty honeybees
Now swarming the roundness of my plump thigh
Lather of shimmery nectar
Infestation, murder, love

I sit outside patient time, breaking patient knuckles,
waving patient finger pens around impatient boundaries
Endlessly drawing on my own wreckage, life’s very own patient
Is there anything here that doesn’t hurt?

Image and Poem © Aakriti Kuntal


Hands-are-Shelves  (  Picture Series ( ii ) )

Wrist by wrist
The blood sings
Talking of its lives
of its many births within
the arching sands of death's naked breaths
I hear the cackling
The blood gone dry
red chalk, red rocks in red teeth
Dropping, falling, free fall
You are Christmas
curtains and curtains of red
Sleek, silver rubbed on red, raw umber, burnt umber
I watch, 
your only spectator, your faithful companion
from the scales of ripped eyes
I watch your face, it's wry horizon
of white pus cells
I know the sound of the fall, it comes to me like sex
Like slow gradual hymns of pasted nights
on dragging windows and walls
Windmills in the mouth
shredding every hint of knowledge 
No language enters here, particles of air standing outside,
their red potato faces swollen in shame
I know as I am all red
A red song, that you once took in your arms mother,
Once you sang to me when the skies weren't poetry,
when the skies were just a faithful blue
Now they are scratched faces 
of too many
Too many wailing knives 

I watch,
my own faithful companion 
Stare at the redness of dimming lights
Planets around my waist 
What do you take from the grieving except the ability to grieve?

Image and Poem 
© Aakriti Kuntal

Many Lives

Oh, the moon, the moon
and the ache
{Like a sweetened jelly upon my lips}

I pack thunder into a sack
and beat it on my skin
My body, Coarse grains and wheat yarn
Tires slope on this bridge neck
Spokes in shoulders and oval spine

I carry the shutter of the shedding skies
in cotton sacks
inside my breasts
Each a cut moon
{their mouths bottled}
I tend to them
Like a mother to her wildernesses
I cup them,
{trepidation, tulsi, milk, waters}
I cup them
flavor them with ointments
{Fahrenheit and figures,
sand, heat, and curvatures }

They shift in my bosom
Along the tides of see-saw days
They make muffled noises
{Cockroach whispers
Cocoons on plastic twigs}
Their aroma like baking soda in my house

Now I must
Just pause and sink
(Pause and sink)
I am a pollen and an anther
of deflated moon stems
A fat ripped bag
of too many tender lives
Each slowly dying
in my clavicles
I am a lesion
Sliced and sautéed
Now I shall lift these fingers and drill them into my slacking throat
Swaddle and choke
These little shapes
Of women
Who I like to kill

© Aakriti Kuntal

Picture : Aakriti Kuntal



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

Linger and Throb

I smoke
the moments like fireflies
watch them wander
pick and eat
my throbbing wine nest

I cross fingers
knit a warm puddle
the incense
         of departure
(Watermelon seeds on roasted skin)

My lips are a henna castle
crisp and charred
lumps of  flying calendars
gravity wars and columns of decay
Do you see
the nets wilting ?
spooning like mushrooms beneath my ear

My chest is an almond,
chipped and whipped
smouldering autumn grains
and coins
A  deafness,
syllables running dry
like autumn hands within washed tendons

© Aakriti Kuntal
Picture : Aakriti Kuntal

Lovers’ Autumn

Sweetened September, 
calcified on the horizon 
I have slept for decades in your velvet duvet

The beach suns
have grown cortisol records in my knees
and the cleaved clouds
have started to sweat around my veering arms

I awake 
to the plums taped on the refrigerator 
and granular bullets coalescing into umbrella skies 
I awake 
and feel fumes in my enzymes 
Combustible, sneaky 
My hollow jaws
swallowed in the interstate of this heaviness
I lie,
an inflammable toy
wheeling in your breath
tethered to your trailing eyes

and ashes

© Aakriti Kuntal
Picture : Aakriti Kuntal

Chalk widow



on the winter pane

glossy and sticky



wobbly tin leg lapses

and musical ankle beats

gravity tortoise shell

and clamping strive

press and move up

stick and move up

Black widow,

dusty brain

a wormhole of random genesis

‘the height reveals as less as the pit’

strap and sleep

strap and sleep

© Aakriti Kuntal

Picture : Aakriti Kuntal