I see a corridor and I see it with all its edges.

I throw a burning ember on the wooden floor

and the mustard wallpaper suddenly shudders;

the shroud that left my room uncovered

now melts and slithers into my mouth.

It soaks into my throat and curls into my lungs

like the smoke of a furnace burning under my house.

Scratching and inhaling, I am an incubator

and I nurture the clothing that defamed my body.

I keep the warm, ironed scarves just above my nose

so that I can smell the scent of my mother’s secrets –

the pungent stench circles in my spine

and the only anatomy my doctor sees, is

the coveted pills that keep me from expanding

into the enigma of my flesh. It is soft and dangerous

and curls around my bones and nothing in my house

is safe from its crackling. I lurch, but the dense

cotton in my mouth doesn’t allow me to breathe.

Smothering myself and smothering my family,

the kitchen is empty and I sit on its floor

the chalkboard is dusty and I lick its catastrophic slate

there is nothing sickening that doesn’t satiate me.

The fire is catching and the curtains are falling –

sheets wither into the pillows that wither

into my father’s head. His suits, his ties,

his stale-silver watch that never told him the time right

all lying on the floor. I will consume it.

I will take his hands into the sink,

they are used to washing off the charcoal

that we shove into my throat.

I am the fire that burns my home.

Photo Credit: Photos by Mavis Flickr via Compfight cc



Paakhi Bhatnagar

Paakhi Bhatnagar is a student from India and an avid reader of historical fiction. She is a passionate feminist and blogs about current politics and feminist issues. She also possess the uncanny ability of turning everything into a debate.

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