a peacock and chukar wed under a banyan tree By Adithi Raghavan

a peacock and chukar wed under a banyan tree

i was born in a slaughterhouse.
one limb:
bent
towards the bleeding Euphrates
the other:
severed
by Kailash’s chakra

A still-born.
who had already tasted Azrael’s breath.
—ah, yes.

my breath: reeking of innocent lambs.
my curls: seasoned with the blood from shattered coconuts—brown shell casings.
my feet: drying in leather slippers.
my nails: festering charred remains of war-turned graves.
my hands: plunged into Yama’s father—burnt.

myself:
A cannibal.
eating at my own half-chewed reflection.

i see two.
not one.

A hybridized animal.
half Halal
half Nandi

A tug-of-war.
between the last names of a Mughal and Pandya,
embroiled in a Romeo and Juliet fantasy,
hidden by the shadows of a Banyan tree.

to amma and baba,
to the peacock and chukar who wed under a Banyan tree,
to their lovechild,
me.

By Adithi Raghavan

Biography:

Adithi Raghavan is an emerging poet from Washington State whose poems have been published in several school literary magazines and online publications like the Apprentice Writer. She has a forthcoming publication in the Blue Marble Review. Her writing has also been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Currently, she is working on her first chapbook.

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