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Perimeters and Shapes

By Aakriti Kuntal

Throat of the city—
what fish swims in your trepidation-hair?

Night’s squeal is as muted as this spoon
bending into the thigh: nothing alters—

Only a shape cuts into memory. Each ear
roams in the alley, alien figurines. How similar

Is dissimilar: bodies perpetuate in black;
who is measuring our solvency?

The city walks into the mouth, a mouthful of lizards.
Midnight’s hair recorded the one pear moon

That swept the backbone. Now nothing rests,
only small bowls of cricket light worm.

You could stand over a basin and smell the heat
that ferments, and cuts—cubicles

Between cars that imitate each other in
a synaptic frenzy; small dishes fish out into the

Crocodile vapour; a colourless owl clocks its head—
its time slips into the forehead eye like Vicks[1] on heat

5 bucks say this one is lying. A mascara
could not tell you the shade of friendships.

Somewhere on the dim lip of horizons blue droplets
inflate in Covid and summer becoming

Persian blue tweezers dancing from balcony leaves.
The apartment is 100 steps of a coma beam;

Life’s perimeter an entire city shrinking between feet.

[1] Vicks is a popular over-the-counter (OTC) medication used to treat cough.


Kuntal, aged 28, is a poet and writer from India. Her work has been featured in various literary magazines. She was awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry, was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award 2018, and received a nomination for the Best of the Net.


For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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