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That’s not why she woke up with the first cuckoo song,
to catch the mysterious moves of stars arranging the destiny of the day.
She knew hers was trapped in the figures of the Krishna calendar.
She knew of dead ends
and that the tea she’d boiled for him one last time—
it’s been ten months since the wood fire went cold—
still sent up cardamom and cinnamon curls in the humid air.
What’s different in the number grid, she’d answered me
when I’d asked her if it was a thirty-month or a thirty-one month
she overhauled what she’d just said and broke her pause
one more or one less, but my fright is, what I would do with it.

And generally I didn’t interrupt her pauses
because she found her answers in them
in her own serpentine thinking.
She had become liquid
flowing along the trails of her wandering mind.
She wished more than a thousand times in a day
time needn’t have been painfully benevolent
handing over a legacy she didn’t ask for.

Then she’d said looking deeply into my eyes
Just like how a shore has an ocean, man has time
or time has man? Which one is your pick?

I am used to airy strolls on the clear paths of my philosophies
lurking in the hidden corners of another’s is equal to entering a maze.
Dusting up a thought here and a thought there
my simple credos are suited up and ready to go.
But such easiness irks her, I know.
At such times she is happily aware my mind is in knots
and she leaves me to mess with it further.

She has moved to the next
What is the medium of communication between time and man
like there are waves between the shore and the waters.
A spell of quiet. Dragging me into her guilt she said
time didn’t cost us any sweat and blood. It has made such spendthrifts of us
we must be answerable, don’t you think, for what and how we use it up?

I looked up at the hieroglyphics of the morning stars
What more than a stain on time, I couldn’t read my day.

Daya Bhat is from Bangalore, India. Other than a book of poems, she has new poetry and short fiction appearing in literary publications, some of which are Kitaab, Coldnoon, Indiana Voice Journal, Earthen Lamp, The Bangalore Review, Off the coast, and New Asian Writing.


About her book
Current Issue
23 May 2022

My family and I / lived and dined / and enjoyed sunny picnics / and celebrated Christmas / with the bones inside us / silently howling
Would the rightful owners of these 17 bodies please turn up to claim them?
"When I can't move, I write, and those two things are deeply connected."
Upstairs, the prime minister is meeting with all the party members because they are worried about how to save themselves. As in, just themselves and no one else.  Because they are selfish fucks.
Let’s strive to make the best art we can, but never from the starting point of fear, but of personal honesty.
Wednesday: The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel 
Friday: To Climates Unknown: An Alternate History of a World Without America by Arturo Serrano 
Issue 16 May 2022
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
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