The following poem was written by 18-year-old Aditi Nagpal. Aditi is a law student from Mumbai, India. She’s been published in Writer’s Asylum and Tunnel Magazine and is the winner of various city-level and national-level competitions. When she isn’t struggling with her college curriculum, she enjoys reading and binge watching television. Her major traits are: Too much panic and not enough disco.
In her free time, she likes to think more than necessary and to sit by the sea like the real woke millennial she is.
An excerpt from Losing, a collection of poems based on losing self, home and heart—a glance of the reign of terror that persists globally and the resilience borne from it.
Handloom block prints, spread over
the green grass, like a printing press.
Eating purple zinnias and colouring in
the excess with henna adorned feet.
Glass lac bangles, clinking against the
the dew, filtering sunshine through a prism.
Science and faith meeting in the flames
painting the body yellow, washed with milk.
This is our body, unlike Scheherazade,
completely opaque, made from the cracks
in the earth after the drought. Sometimes
when I breathe, the air swirls leaves in my lungs.
When the flowers are at God’s feet, I clasp my
hands and prayers leave from behind closed eyes.
Heartland reminds me of the corridor that
connects the countries. Leaving behind
bangles, my clothes and children. I
engulf wildfire and crimson memories engulf me.
I keep writing about how this feels
in a language I forgot. It is what is left of home.
(A story of the India-Pakistan partition.)