The light-bulb flickers, dangling from six inches
of makeshift wires, duct-taped together.
If life was a test, I’d get A+ for effort.
It swings to and fro like clockwork,
my personal brand of hypnosis, casting shadows
that dance across the room like neurotic ballerinas
who smoke pot on weeknights,
eat their feelings,
and stick a finger down their throat for dessert.
Life wasn’t always the seedy back room
of a rundown dance club on the wrong side of town:
I ran six miles for charity once; Came third, too.
My mother was so fucking proud. That night
she baked a lemon meringue pie to celebrate
what I hoped would not be the highlight of my life.
But life has a way of proving you wrong.
He’s the king of the playground, the smirking terror
that pushes your skull into the sewer, then calls
to apologize because his mother makes him.
If hoping for the best is a disease, I summon an epidemic every night.
The first time I plunged my fingers into the flesh
of a past not so much forgotten as repressed,
trying to scrape out the exact moment it all went south,
I found myself spoilt for choice. Whoever called variety the spice of life
can have mine, no questions asked. I’ll even throw in this poem
if you’re looking for a laugh. All I want is the goddamn light to be fixed,
but I’ll flirt with the dark for another meringue pie.
By Yashodhara Trivedi
Yashodhara Trivedi is a twenty-two years old native of Kolkata, India. Having recently completed the Master’s programme in English at Durham University, she now tries to distract herself from the terrifying prospect of finding a real job by pretending she can write poetry.