Poetry: Pragya Dhiman

Pragya Dhiman
The language I leave behind

The nativity of this language is an adoption – a
choreography performed,
the remaining past like wheat husk
threshed, thickening the air 
with the sweet scent of sugar.

The rest burnt,
embers from my dream-fire licking
the repulsive fleshiness of my thick tongue.
I burn and immolate the wordy mouth 
and repeat the prayers that rid me
of the harshness of my script.

The non-descript paper that is my mind
forgets the language that I leave behind,
nothing classifies me as the greatest
and only time exposes the
foibles of being wordless.


Who believed I could venerate soil, plant
the blood that would blossom and thaw the
winter that let itself sink into my beliefs. 

With your lips, your
kiss, the weatherbeaten skin, the arch in
the spine, your slanted eyes that gaze the
maker, you pulled out of the only heaven
you prayed for, to me.

The red hair, the blue tears, the unbearable 
tightness of living – death is just another
possibility for me to meet you again.

Two bowls of lotus in my heart, the center
a piercing desire to build a temporary
home together, this world is merely a physical 
space for us, before immortality claims our souls.

Before I pray and bruise my knees, I need
this dream to reveal itself, I need your words
to dictate my steps, I need to be reborn as such.

You could ask for my silence and I would
beg the heavens to lose my voice,
and if my fate is tied to the religiosity of my breath
I would pray to utter your name over and over again.

The scathing burns on my sanity

My soul a bucketful of water, a leaking
dairy pail, a
handful of moist earth and the mist of
wet breath.

I believe I was born to die.

A soft blindness is carving into my 
eyes, so I witness only the paleness
of my deeds. I grasp at the dust 
that dances in front of me, the 
vestibules of a cold sunlit temple 
that is my abode, the space that
carries my prayers to the place 
that I am meant to call my home.

These figures roam in my peripheral 
vision, at nighttime they descend onto
me. Sleep is vacant living and they slide a
whisper about the truth of what will come
to be, if I forget what is meant for me.

Insanity is a pledged death that only the
living can feel. Maybe when I lay down
to rest, I’ll finally drift into eternal sleep
and my soul will empty into mere breath,
something for my god to keep.

Bio-note: Pragya Dhiman is pursuing her Master’s degree in English from University of Delhi. Her work has previously been published in The Chakkar, Muse India, Defunkt Magazine, Tint Journal, Literary Yard, Poet’s Choice, Teen Ink, Muse-Pie Press’ Shot Glass Journal and more. Her research work has been published in various literary journals including, American Research Journal of English and Literature, International Journal of English Literature and Social Sciences (IJELS Research Journal), The Literary Herald and more, and is available for perusal online.

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