How orange rinds float in warm water. I say, please and it tastes

like signature lipstick, a handful of rings. How to churn butter

and stroke her soul. How to wake at six A.M and not think of

zaffre nails.  How to build a trestle table. How to disrobe a mannequin.

I’ve asked for less. How to mix haldi and milk. How to skewer a wish

and gouge out the eyes of a fish. How to trace in cursive. There’s a missed call

and my voice is husky. I leaf through journal entries labeled porn.

How to vivify code, how to wean her off collecting favors,

how to diagram brutality. I am vultured and clawing. How to unfetter

a rattlesnake. How to gut her teeth with my tongue. The tub is clogged

and the bathroom is flooding. She’s five minutes before the

darkness creeps in. How to say goodbye. How to stay mute.


Rachana Hegde is an Indian writer from Hong Kong. Her poetry has appeared in Lockjaw Magazine, Hypertrophic Literary, Diode, and The Blueshift Journal. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Hollins University. Find her at