Aakriti Kuntal (Colours of Love and Barriers)

Aakriti Kuntal
Aakriti Kuntal considers writing a verb— gardening the air, the self. Her poems, reviews, articles, and visual art have been published in literary journals including The Night Heron Barks, Silver Birch Press, and Poetry@Sangam among others. She has received the Reuel International Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award, and was nominated for the Best of the Net.

Slants of beauty

Such intensity nicks.

Blood then
is the entire mouth swollen into a mound,

Mushrooms between lime wedges.
Levers, tongues—

Sound is chewing through the nymph 
polythene-squint-skin

And my face
is the tulip that never emerged. Look

At the slant of rays pulping in the crown marrow. 
You attempt to lick

Whereas the body is already black ions bloated 
along the oval eye of space;

Coagulating its entire existence
as you flicker between nodes,

Drop
after drop
swollen shafts        mermaids in your chin

Bright light oven in shirt
made cupcakes and oil.

Your lips slowly turn white, nettle-fractures,
night's blanched fountain, slit.

The blood has been sucked;
this chord in the head then is a leech

For look at how it ropes and ropes,
drains

This flowerless body
into myriads of blade freckles.

You could collect me on a chart paper
and you would see nothing,

Bright cotton-spleen of not
for I am thirst itself—

Its raven-edged crawl in the slant of beauty,
its slow,

Almost clotted fist centrifuging reality.
Teeth snarl through linen bowels,

Fabric blinds along breasts
until we know from ear to bucket ear   faint wires

That the body now rotating around its spine
is but a ghost, a ghost in melody.

Why must you stand there bulbing 
as a possessed God of music

While all your mermaids grow pale
and pale in my stomach? —

Birthing, shifting,
their prismatic faces cutting my cheeks.

Wings are night bulbs
and all that flies out is the large swan of this quarantined breath

Gathered as the dotted spiral of the first moth-arc—
straight into the trap of your warm cells.

             Salivating chants in membrane halls
tongue-hook cleft of lack-ceremonies

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