this city eats me every night
The hum swells as the sun sets and city sleeps and wakes anew,
As night falls darker than my Archi’s hair
Tumbling from her braid as she sits in bed,
She’s also listening to the hum and it rocks her to sleep.
For me the hum grows louder, turning into a shriek that demands my soul with a side of seeni sambal.
The peacocks turn into bats turn into crows pecking out my eyelashes as I swelter.
Melting through my thin sheets into the foundations where old men spit betel on me and stray dogs
run across my face.
The sun dawns yellow as kaha powder and I wake drenched in sweat, unable to remember my dreams.
‘You’ll grow into it’
On the hanger is my pain, dangling like a skin suit just with brown ribbons.
Even as a dress it’s hideous but I smile because your eyes are telling me not to be ungrateful.
I shove it inside bag with the other gifts.
Usual socks, skin whitening cream and a nightmare about a door that won’t close.
Probably why I don’t bother locking anything.
I’m too tired to be afraid of open holes.
Open wounds scare everyone else though.
Especially when I wear them.
So I put them in the closet with your gift.
I was throwing stuff out by which I mean donating it because I forget that some people have dignity and wouldn’t want my broken life.
Even if it was free.
I didn’t find your present, probably because it had gained sentience and was too busy terrifying my baby photos.
Jokes on it.
I cut out all they’re eyes so they’d stop looking at me when I cried.
You called last Tuesday and asked if I still had it.
I keep all your gifts.
There is water in my house,
but all my taps leak death,
The static T.V reports on hundred of people who live on a star,
or at least they must, how else could a place shine so brightly,
Lighting opens the heavens, and the signal is sucked into a distant nebula,
we never here where those fortunate few are, or how we might get there,
Static buzzing in time to monsoon rain,
that trickles through the corrugated iron,
They say somewhere is too dry,
They say somewhere is too cold,
Yet a man sails among the stars,
and our roof sprouts new leaks.
Indira Fernando (she/they) is a queer, immigrant, person of colour who enjoys writing, reading and taking on more work than they can handle. She writes poetry to help process and document moments of growth, pain, joy and confusion, and occasionally they show it to people. Their previous and upcoming work can be found in The Agenda Zine, Nightingale& Sparrow and on her notes app.