Poetry by Rohith Sundararaman

all that happens happens because it is meant to happen



i have to wear a black robe to college tomorrow

people i’ve known for years will also wear a black robe tomorrow

black is the color of mourning

my yearbook is black and gold

people will write good things about me in the yearbook

i will write all the secrets i know about them in the book

i will also take somebody’s yearbook and keep it

someone will ask me if i took their yearbook

i will say no and then say ‘i know who took it’

yearbooks can ruin a relatioship

twenty years later i’ll get an email about a college reunion

i will meet the person whose life i ruined in the reunion

we will bring our yearbooks to the reunion

that person will also have a yearbook

that person will not talk to me

i will not talk to that person

i will show the yearbook i stole to everybody and say he stole someone’s yearbook

people will crowd around me and i will feel scared

they will snatch away my book and scratch out my past with a black pen

black is the color of mourning

and i will be wearing black to college tomorrow




at the subway



a girl smiled at me

she had gold teeth

perhaps even cavities

i made a note about the dentist

as the train rumbled round the corner

i looked away

as she stood there,

waiting in the middle

of the track

another girl smiled at me

as i went up the stairs

her hair was the sun

and it shone so brilliantly

that it nearly blinded me

as i walked out

to the open where

yet another girl smiled

at me as i sat by the garden

a dog gave me

company: it on its back,

legs sprawled at strange angles

my palms sweat and heart thundered

it could be dead, for all i knew

but then it moved

i felt calm and thought

of the time when a girl smiled at me

it was over a frozen pond

i had just tripped

she glided by

smiling then laughing

and i remember getting

up not understanding why i felt

like i was in the middle of summer

Rohith Sundararaman is a twenty-two year old poet writing out of Bombay, India. His work has appeared or will appear in elimae, eclectica, word riot, gud magazine, decomp, defenestration, tipton poetry journal, death metal poetry and other places. When he is not dreaming of poetry, he is busy taking courses at a local business school.


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