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The universe plants sadness in our blood cells to sometimes grieve the unmourned

a week of waking up with lead in my bones

adulthood cuts through the air i breathe in the

sharp monotones of hourly water reminders.

a baby spider wills fifty-six different muscles

to traverse planes of a bathroom wall

and challenges gravity along the way.

the sunlight wins a game of tug-of-war against

my eyelids and i wake up with

a hungry mother's prayer on my lips.

i am running out of breath and

i want the world to stop spinning for a goddamn second.

there is a theory that the universe plants

sadness in our blood cells to sometimes grieve the unmourned.

which is to say, the tear stains on

my bathroom floor are hasty eulogies i've written to

selves i should have spent hours digging graves for.

the moon waxes and wanes in tandem with

streaks of brown blood down my thighs

and i exhale a thousand apologies for the space i have begun to occupy.

i am running out of fingers to tangle my unravelling threads in,

and all i am now is a journal spread of missed calls on the lockscreen of my mother's phone.

eighteen has been rotting in bones for so long now,

not christening it mine would be an act of sacrilege.

'mumma ka khaana'

the rust on the windows of the mess reminds me of the monotones of mumma's kitchen, my home. the air, slick with sesame oil and curry leaves, tugs at my skin, cracks my ribs open and refuses to let me be. a mush of boiled rice and diluted dal sits heavy on my withering taste buds for the eleventh time this week. nani taught me food was our love language. taught me how an extra teaspoon of ghee on paranthas translated to i love you. i think i finally understand what it means to have your tongue run you out of words to speak. the emptying bag of food i brought from home last month, is a newfound synonym for yearning. papa asked me last night if i wanted him to send me more of bansal ke laddoo (you know, the ones that practically melt at the touch?) and my bones throb with the dormant ache to go back home. the pads of my fingertips have been friends with mumma's crimson masala box ever since i was seven years old. dadu made sure a packet of jeera was one-fifteenth of my luggage allowance when i came back to college. i hang up on my brother every time he tells me what he's had to eat as the chocos i've had for dinner again, rot between my teeth. i was born with the love for food in my veins. tell me how, then, am i not to find dal-chawal everyday, an act of blasphemy?

a lifespan of seven days

monday is a firstborn cradling in its arms

bones growing cold with existence.

the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a universe always increases,

so monday hugs itself to sleep tonight

in a desperate attempt against all of life's coerced randomness.

tuesday is a bronchitic adolescent with

october trapped within the soft cages of its lungs.

warmth lingers at its peripheries like the impending promise of winter,

a prayer, a chant, a religion,

as science christens bodies thriving in the absence of heat, the cold.

wednesday is a teenage daydream walking the tightrope to adulthood,

writing odes to spiders on bathroom walls and

citing perseverance as an acquaintance from a time long gone.

decades ago, schrodinger confines a cat to four boundaries in space

and life comes full circle as philosophy finds itself a home in the paradox of quantum mechanics.

thursday is a spoiled middle child

living away from home for the first time.

life loops itself like a question mark against the labyrinthine backdrop of what-if-the-universe-came-into-being-last-thursday

as it snoozes the last of the hourly alarms that remind it to hydrate.

friday hasn't been a child since the age of nine

and burnout makes it drop the spools of its future and watch them unravel willingly.

newtons's law of inertia explains how time passes friday by

and its body bears testament to a life lived from far, far away.

saturday and sunday are teenage parents,

cruel in their carelessness.

their entire world learns to come to life in impatient, laboured breaths

as they make their way back home post house parties

because even god decided to rest themselves on the weekend.


Pritha Jain, is an eighteen-summer-old poet(-in-progress?) pursuing an undergraduate degree and trying to make sense of the world within and outside her, through poetry. Her work has been published in The Alipore Post, Delhi Poetry Slam, Aster Lit and Verse of Silence.

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