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Pejoratives and Prayers

Three Poems by Bhairavi Ponkshe

Mystical shell paintings by Cécile Giovannini.
Mystical shell by Cécile Giovannini.

Pejoratives and Prayers

Love is a letter lost

in the mail.

The problem is,

I don't know what the

envelope looks like.

I'm made of pain and sorrow.

For love is a pejorative, of the naivest kind

There's a child inside,

knocking on the doors that lead to a

tumultuous flood.

You live inside my heart

like an ache. A wail.

Turn a blind eye.

Or you'll just slip away.

This poem, the pain,

and the writer,

they're all tangled in the stale

branches of an old tree.

For love is an abuse,

of the softest kind.

I'm made of childhood

and memories.

An album of the

happiest ones

always open somewhere.

Let it flow away.

Turn a blind eye.

I'm made of waiting and


Or perhaps an aphasia

that doesn't last long.

For love is a prayer,

of the worst kind.

Turn a blind eye.

And hopefully,

it'll drown me too.

The syllables untangle

themselves and spill, all

over my tongue.

Love, a pejorative / love,

an abuse / love,

a prayer.

For love, is a letter

lost in the mail.

And to their relief,

I've stopped looking.

The ending of a song

To write, she tells me

and to write brilliantly,

It is absolutely necessary

that you live a little.

So I get a knife and

dig a grave of all the

deaths that I lived.

Hoping to find the sign

of a life, whimpering

under the rubble.

Visible traces of all the

laughs dismembered at

the funeral. Like the

ending of a song

echoing in your dream.

A child, a teenager, a woman.

One funeral,

And a child again.

Bodies pile up.

Half dead, on the brink

of a breath.

I pull them up and breathe

into their mouths.

Tugging hard at the hem

of a life.

A whistle escapes through

their nostrils.

I step away, and find it gone

I lean in and find

a song.

To write, so I tell her

And to write brilliantly

It is absolutely necessary

That you die a little.

The funeral of an alliteration

She sells


On the seashore.

Stupid little girl.

Ludicrous woman.

It is she, your incarnation.

She, who sells dreams

at night.

An alliteration abandoned

at birth.

You distill the symbolism

on purpose / out of habit.

Clean slates and

burning edges.

The metaphor sits on a

rooftop and smears.

It laughs and its stomach


Cheeks hurt,

and tremble.

She kisses them and her

mouth bleeds.

Her body,

now an offering.

She sells her death.

Her life,

your Magnum Opus.

Sleep, on the ridge

of your eye.

Your eye, a burning

gold watch.

Tick-tock, Tick-tock

Pay a price,

Buy a dream.

She lays on the shore.

Her back embalmed in water.

Sand tourniquets

lapping hope in a haste.

A funeral,

A rehearsal,

A metaphor.

She sells


On the seashore.


Bhairavi Ponkshe
Bhairavi Ponkshe

Bhairavi M. Ponkshe is a Psychology graduate and a first-year Law student from Mumbai, India. Her poems have been published and featured in various literary journals and poetry anthologies.

You can access her poetry online on her Instagram page

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