Photo by Hannah Ustun

Written by Malashree Suvedi

You’re back again.
I forgot my keys.
Please; quick, leave.
Without me, you would be nil.

I’m already nil, already dead, my movement’s not my own, I am a ceiling fan hanging from my neck twirling with your every whim, I am a slave to your will. You keep me moving, to keep me submissively disoriented. The sun rises in the east, I’m always facing west.

Dead man walking. The clock’s stuck 12,
from riches to rags Cinderella runs,
while the emperor stands naked.

There are some nights when the sky
that I count every star in the universe
hoping that
at least
can give me a ride back home wherever that is.
These are the nights when you’re far away.
My movements become my own again
my mind’s never forgotten
I can hear you
hear you dangling your keys.

Like a snake you creep up my spine
and hold on to my neck, like a noose
I whirl about
a maniac, a pathetic loser.
But unlike a snake, you never show
Show me the way out of this poisonous garden.

Tik tik tok tik.
Solitary confinement. Who turned on the lights? Who’s there?
Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Knock Knock
I said, who’s there?
Knock Knock
Please respond, who’s there?
It is I, god.

But god hears keys, and she knows she doesn’t stand a chance, so she leaves.
G O D S P E E D.

I keep my eyes closed and press my hand to my chest.
The darkness keeps me comfort, but my lungs still hurt.
You laugh, you stick around.

Another day, another breathing exercise.

Standing on the edge of darkness,
madness draws closer to my lips like a bottle of vodka.
There are nights when the sky is so dark that I’m convinced
our axises have been lost, as we hurl across the universe with nothing to hold on to.
Orphaned. Alone.
Still slower than the speed of light. Standing on the edge of darkness.

Drive faster, you whisper,
take that exit,
no one wants you here.
Drive fast, like you’re axisless,
no one wants you here.

Another day, another breathing exercise.

But I’m the only one drowning,
aren’t I? My self esteem reflects the monsoon,
some days it doesn’t rain, other days it


Your shadow follows me everywhere,
I seem to have misplaced mine.

That’s it, I’m leaving,
breaking the fucking wall,
gone, awol, free, escapee.
Mad woman on the loose.
But there are monsters out there,
evil people, terrible creatures,
who look for blood,
Blood like mine,
Better stay in here.

I have forgotten, what does the rain feel like?

Another day, another breathing exercise.

Hello darkness,
your highness,
you’re back.

Who turned off the lights?

I died today with the sister who got cut open,
and with the brother whose skin was darker than mine.

I walk differently, everyone notice my
disjointttttttted legs,
you words are strong, I always comply.
These four walls seem closer, don’t they?

I want to drive slower.
That’s a bad idea.
I forgot my keys.

The trip’s been cancelled. Unforseeably
foreseeable circumstances.
Always, the damn keys.

I live for the days it rains,
the lightning reminds me that there is a god,
the thunder sounds like god hasn’t abandoned ship yet.