Poems by Aakriti Kuntal



Snapshot of an afternoon

From the blunt white eye
of mid-afternoon
protrudes an airiness

An invisible,
continuously morphing,
ductile sense of relief

Flowers perch above the breeze’s invisible ear
Immersed in a drift
they cannot seem to fully stretch into

Their wispy stems
half-smiling, half-strung
in an orange-curd mist

It is afternoon
in this strangeness of being
both rays and thunder
arching above
the dark thicket of breasts

It is afternoon
as the body sits
pink fleets of flesh,
restless as long tongues of water

both turbid and motionless to the strange eye

It is afternoon
as the body departs and arrives
at the epiglottis of this stranded moment

Drowning its being gladly
in the orphaned bliss of time’s nakedness



Tusks of light
scratch a starch blue sky

In the restaurant, people move,
move continuously
Their mouths imitating the same plural motions that their bodies do

A curious fragility
in their obstinate need for movement

A child’s balloon skirt
flies past my eye
ricocheting into the sigh of all living things

Not all motion is the same

This one is how
laughter would seem
if sketched along the Cartesian coordinates, over time’s gentle rim

The others move to and fro
catching nothing but air

like limbs they find purpose in mechanical spheres,
a naked boredom in the stutter

Outside the restaurant
the magnesian green shrubs
display a startling lack of movement

They seem to have been bitten by a tale of silence
Thick pink air hovering,
velvet saliva over their meditating skin

I stare at them for a while,

If I look long enough
would I too dissolve in their vastness of green?


About the author:

Aakriti Kuntal, aged 26, is a poet and writer from India. Her work has been featured in various literary magazines and newspapers including The Hindu, Madras Courier, Pangolin Review and Tuck Magazine among others. She was also awarded the Reuel International Prize 2017 for poetry and was a finalist for the RL Poetry award 2018.