The more things change, the more they stay the same

Rusk biscuits have a typical way of

melting under hot tea, a way grainier

than others; Yet

after all these years their taste is

familiar, unchanged, like the closed

factory and the occasional

dead bodies that are found with their

throats slit open.

The tea is still warm to the sip, and

the sky still littered with stories

that never went anywhere.

All nostalgic, all-too-known

metallic aftertaste.



The first time you feel two arms tangling you

like an ivy, and moist breaths lashing

onto your face in steady intervals, you

panic. Fear runs through your brain

as your loin catches fire, then ice,

and then screams with emotions

you’ve never felt before.

Ten years later, you look

at naked bodies like they are invisible

stories at an overpopulated wall of

bad posters, and preach



Every morning is a mixture of hurried showers,

a cereal bowl deep bath of granola in almond milk

and an ocean of emotions typed

on a computer screen. Thousand others dying

to reach the surface, a calmness

that is spectacularly similar to rigor-mortis erupts.


A weatherman is complaining about irregular weather.

There’s an accident in I-85.

All in a day’s



artwork by Haechang Sun

What if you are a bird and want to be a bee?

Perched in a Bengal sun and a world full of binaries,

a spirit seeks validation in begging, yet there’s no Wikipedia

article about what she’s pleading for.


Retorting gazes that burn him with disgust are surprisingly united.

Some take the shape of his parents, some Youtube comments,

some are even his own image that still has makeup and

dried up blood.


A cinema-hall full of people laugh at iridescent jokes doled out

that hurt like a train, even more than when the officer-in-charge

asked her to strip down because there was a bulge

in her pants. Lying down in the training camp’s hard cot,

she remembers an equally deranged afternoon when

her dad had taught her that there were only

men and women in this world with the neatness of a



Five years ago, a man thought transforming into a woman

would finally make him whole, so he borrowed another man’s

writings from a hundred years back that told stories of a woman

who wanted to be a man. Later that year, the man was

surrounded by a thousand eyes as his body slowly entered the

crematorium. His soul, however, was burned an eon back.


When the news spreads, the Virginia sun is still busy painting the sky

with the color of an egg yolk; the familiarity of both is not lost to those

who read the stories of Greek heroes slaying mythical monsters. Only these monsters

were danger close, even closer than the uncle who slid his hands

inside the guy’s pants because he wasn’t like other boys.


The incinerator slowly burned all the flesh, and people enjoyed it with a couple of beers;

For there were only ones and zeroes in this world, and one-ones and zero-zeroes

were thrown out of heaven.


Illustration by Alex Williamson.

Cosmic Melancholia

Lying under a starry nothingness, the

dreams wander to the nearest nebula, and then burst into cosmic

illusions. The life, the bent road that took me here, are

lit by thoughts that had once meant something,

and now are still pictures.

The ambient music calms me down, and then

throws me a million galaxies away, as if it wanted

to make me find my way back home again.

“Haven’t you made your peace already?” whispered someone;

Shaking my head, I thought hard of

hot afternoons and dying breezes, and

artificially colored golas, and holding hands,

and sneaking kisses,

and a planet I had left

eons ago – and there I was, afloat,

in a timeless, stateless loop.


I woke up, in sweats, and realized

the nightmare had ended.


(Picture Courtesy: Blow – Stellarscapes New Media by Oriol Angrill Jordà)

Entitled Dreams 101

Your body sweating,

hands sliding down south, mouth following, breaths drowning ~

The radio had stopped long back, and

the static had mixed with


All in a dream, I wake up with

lingering smell of your

breasts. If the windows could open,

a thesis could have been written

on desperation;

But the world is saved, for now.