and pointing to my left elbow it says, here and I remember my childhood like a bulb suddenly aglow and the fall I had from a tree. It was summer and because grandmother said how sweet the guavas taste, I thought to surprise her with one. But you do not live there any longer, I say rubbing the spot. Here, the pain says and points to my leg like a child unsure of where the Arctic might be on a map. I look down at my thin legs and say, no no I haven’t run a marathon since my graduation. Still, it persists. Oh you mean my knees and I explain how I stopped praying to both gods and men a while back and pain looks at me, now annoyed. I apologize and turn to leave, the sun too harsh on my skin. Here, it says and when I look back, pain points a finger at my heart. I laugh and say, I’m happy and all it does is shake its head and say, no, but that’s where I will be.
Ashish Kumar Singh (he/him) is a queer poet from India with a Master’s degree in English Literature. His works have appeared- or are forthcoming- in The Bombay Literary Magazine, Chestnut Review, Fourteen Poems, Trampset, Lucky Jefferson, Mason Jar Press, Foglifter, Banshee, Channel Magazine and elsewhere. He serves as an editorial assistant at Visual Verse, poetry editor at Indigo Literary Journal and reads for ANMLY.
Other stars in the Saguaro asterism:
When we reach out to her, she clasps one of our hands in both of her own. We feel the impression of her fingers on ours long after she has turned away.
[He keeps handing me cacti]
He was gentle and quiet until my hands filled up, then he made me his pushpin...
The Chinese Man and the Desert
Idioms were a topic of conversation but not the reason people spent money on the app. The people on the app were lonely. Twenty dollars an hour was not bad for a cure.
Woodland Wisdom Tooth
An ancient bird broke away from the brigade and snuck in / to watch a film on trees.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta
On a June night when the south-westerly monsoon winds bring drizzles to Mahrashtra, my father asks if we must call my grandfather. I immediately agree.
Time and Tides