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:
towards the bleeding Euphrates
the other:
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.

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,

By Adithi Raghavan


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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