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Until we become water

Fathima Roshni

Step 1: Evaporation

In Malayalam, ekaanthatha means loneliness
while kaantham means magnet
and I have been thinking how loneliness is a magnet,
how it attracted me to you.

Step 2: Condensation

You tell me on call that
love makes you read a 300-page book in an hour
making you believe, you will remember everything.
It makes the plants in your backyard think
today they get watered
when you completely forget to even wash yourself.

Water sounds cool in your mouth.
Your Indian accent catching up with an American train.
But love isn’t water, water isn’t love
accents have nothing to do with love.
Your tongue in the midair while you roll your R
caught my body in love.
The way your throat dances when you take
a sip of cold water,
the way you flinch on your first sip,
the way you hold your face when
the cold water hit your teeth.

‘Love is cold and warm’
you write in your journal. I wonder
if watching rain together until we become water
to cool down our warm hearts made you write that.

Step 3: Precipitation

In Malayalam, we say poyitt varaam when we depart;
lingering air holding onto the last hope.
But when you said poyitt varaam,
your tongue melted in my mouth.
The last hope dripping down your chin
you whispered,
“do not water the hope.”

Fathima Roshni (she/her) is a 20-year-old writer based in Kerala, India. She has to think for over half an hour whether to drink coffee or chai while reading a book. Her works have previously appeared on Risen Zine, Women’s Web and Indus Woman Writing. You can find her on Instagram @mochishoo.