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Small feelings

Aekta Khubchandani

Pigeonhole is a big word
but a small thing.
I liked aliens
until I learned the word alienated.
Everything is different after then.
Long distance (everything) is fragile.
It’s like an amber butterfly lost in the sun.
Micro fiction is a thing now.
I imagine you on a date with someone else.
I wish my name was someone else.

Blue is a feeling of a leaking boat
swimming in a swelling ocean.
How serene.
We are all moving islands,
carrying our water along.
Someone has to swim through
to finally reach us.
I am an aching comma today.
How many songs can hold a memory?

I’ve lost count
I wake up, wake up,
wake up, wake wake up
to your voice in my head.
The sun lies golden
and naked on my desk.
Feet cold from last night.
Grays are the grace
of life because a dark corner
isn’t the darkest moment.

My face is shrinking in the bedsheet
I am shrinking in present continuous tense
becoming smaller than pigeonholes.
I’m a moon on a no moon day,
a cigarette burning
burning to ash and ash and ashes.
Like ducklings that can’t quack,
sparrows that have forgotten how to chirp,
water chestnuts losing water
without water in them anymore.

Long distance (anything) is tender.
We are a flower
drawn on the palm of someone
who washes their hands too often.

Aekta Khubchandani is a poet from Bombay currently in the MFA program at The New School, NY. Recently, her work “Love in Bengali Dialect” won the Pigeon Pages Fiction prize and her poetry won honorable mention in the Paul Violi contest. Her work is featured in The Aerogram, Sky Island Journal, The Inquisitive Eater, and elsewhere.