Poetry by Rohith Sundararaman

an invite to a death day party

it wasn’t even an invite
more of a name-card with canines
for edges
and it was the most unnatural white
a hodgepodge of blank
rapacious blizzards
blinding plutonium
eating away the print of tiny ants
tiny ants that swam, swirled and churned
in the sea of milk
it was enough to look at it and hurt your eyes
invites aren’t supposed to make you want to gouge
your eyes
but this wasn’t an invite
and i had never been to a death day party
so i slid the card into my coat
put my eyes on ice
and wore dark glasses in mourning

everything is an inexact portayal of nothing

from my window, i watch the fog fall over
the city like a white glove and feel suffocated
so i turn off the lights, lie down and go to sleep
the monster in my room comes out making sounds
the sounds are not scary but the idea
of a monster making such sounds is so i switch
on a table lamp and sit on my bed staring at the room
the room seems to have shrunk because i can’t see my legs
i can still hear the sounds but i can’t see
i bend my legs to the chin, wrap
my arms around them and close my eyes
i can picture something dark
there is a dark monster in my room and i can’t see it
i open my eyes and i realize that i can’t see myself
but now i can see the monster lick
its lip with a pink tongue
i am sitting on my bed in front of a pink-tongued monster invisible to myself
i understand what the monster feels
it senses me but it cannot see me so it is making those sounds
i want to pat the monster and console it and see its face as it licks me
i want to make the monster stop making those noises and make it go to sleep
once it falls asleep i want to strangle it till its tongue is no longer
pink and it simply rolls out of its mouth
suddenly the noise stops
i unplug the lamp and lie down
my skin is sweaty and the hair on it is standing straight
and as i sleep, a shape crawls from the shadow and jumps
through the window and i am invisible again

 Rohith Sundararaman lives in Bombay, India. 


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