Skip to content

A Birdsong

Aiswarya Garlapati

//For Nirbhaya

Inside a snowglobe
lies a city
wilting under smog;
there are no women
in this city,
only birds –
they reach their nests
before the night
swallows the day whole.
nobody questions this
nobody asks the city
where its women are hiding
they’re all busy,
something jostles them
wakes them suddenly
from their tender trance
a woman
without any sound.
someone stole her voice
on a moving bus.
suddenly the city
stops churning, and stares.
the language of atrocity
etched in history
once again.
the heart of every bird
in the city
nobody knows how
to stop the bleeding
or what to do
with all this blood.

Aiswarya Garlapati (she/her) is a part-time writer, poet, and spoken word artist based in Bangalore. Most of her work revolves around the themes of family, what it means to be a woman, endurance, and empathy. She has been a facilitator at several poetry workshops and is also the founder of a weekly poetry newsletter Fresh Off The Grill.