Aakriti Kuntal


Someone is erect on a vertical

Feet, collars on air-bone
raspberry curtains splitting cheeks

Ellipses spit 
           (whose hair is burning?)
mother, I make fire
           (whose mouth floats?)

Air, are you ear?

Shall I knock on the groaning oval door? —
blotch in (—ve)  ]space[

‘What is negative?’ you ask
is it the opposite of positive or that which surrounds it—
that which engulfs, negates, defines?

          That which cuts!
formless yawn of the echo-less light

Shape is sound shrivelled
is an eye the only border then?

Some negative-shutter trips
black flapping in ball-eye

Whose hair am I wearing!
who is dressing me from dawn to dawn?
cups in the dangling mouth
this cloth you bring;
give it to me at once
I must eat it immediately
you, who managed to scissor life,
show me how

Blood chuckles in fawning peacock pans
slips into the vagina

Day is inhaled, inhaled,
vicks rub, cold cream
    whose frock are you wearing?
how long this denial?

Isn’t my face the one necessary truth?
is it not self-sufficient?

Does it not stand alone in white odours and declare?
is it not the pebble that eats everything now?

Space ingested, neither positive nor negative

Look at the one eye
the one
the one that stares at you

Plasma skinned-air is the eyeballs on the throat of time
and whose is this thread that I wear round and round?

The locus is the point and the point a mirage 
then whose arm elongates in my mouth?

The crow shift-sparks in the bright canvas ear
and the clitoris slips into an animated coma

Someone is standing on a vertical
Air, will you be ear to mine?

Aakriti Kuntal, aged 28, writes from India. Her work has been featured in various literary journals. She was awarded the Reuel International Prize, was a finalist for the RL Poetry Award, and has received a nomination for the Best of the Net.

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Fall 2021