Vignettes (About Leaving Home)

April 24, 2015

In 2013, Obama visited Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for talks of “Africa as the next global economic success.” He only stayed for a couple of hours, and President Kikwete named an entire road after him. This road in particular used to be called Ocean Road, where the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) is located. It … Read More

Ghost writer

April 17, 2015

I. I was born when you were born, skin to skin – embraced you like a long lost friend – stayed – with you, born with the brown skin of an old woman, thin and translucent to the touch, became a second skin for you, a little taller, my feet stifled underneath yours, became for you a cradle against … Read More

A Ghazal of Eyes

April 10, 2015

At my spine is a harbour for a fear of eyes: the eyes that want to know me and your eyes. Yours want me wanting and known. I think of floods daily. They rarely close, your eyes. You asked if I was scared of being known, the dip of eyelashes on all-seeing eyes. I hid a small … Read More

milk and honey, Poetry Review

April 3, 2015

Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey, an anthology of her writing published in November of last year, has already infiltrated the interweb South Asian Tumblr community. As a fellow South Asian woman and writer, I’ve found that there is a serious absence of South Asian diaspora voices in the literary world that depict and elevate our … Read More

They had a word for madness

We were not meant to chew like cows, Like the girls who consider Nor swallow well and whole, Like some others. We, with a mouth too big and open and baboon-like, Spit. Spit and vomit and retch too loud In fetching loud refusals Women of disguise Women of disgust Women of no grace Women, roaring. Madness … Read More

dystopias of light

March 20, 2015

I. I had to build a house for light, to accommodate it: windows there, a hearth here, lamps above. I built a house for light to haunt. II. Fair is lovely. Dark is a face upturned to the light becoming bowed. Fair is lovely. III. This is the way infidels are made. You didn’t look away, full of faith. The gods turned … Read More

Imagined Apology from my Father

March 6, 2015

Dream, love. I am a whittler in this life. We can live anywhere you want: a farm, the stable, a tiny house in a field of silence. The walls will be made of anything but organs. You will never see blood. Dream, love. There are no hospitals this time. Instead, it is your 16th birthday … Read More


February 20, 2015

My blood, persistent as sugar, the slow spill and collect of grains why my sister says all the mosquitos fill themselves at night. I wake to fresh funeral mounds on my legs my blood dandelions the city which is a field. I pick up all the pieces, trace the bloodline through teashop and darkroom come into the light fingerless, unsure of … Read More

It Gets Bitter, Poetry Review

Darkmatter’s It Gets Bitter is unlike any chapbook you’ve ever read. If you need dreamy, complicated imagery which leaves you feeling like you’re missing something in life you can’t even name, this isn’t the poetry collection for you. Darkmatter is the slam poetry duo, made up of Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon, which takes down … Read More

Mayoori’s Song

February 6, 2015

You are so loved by the Universe. It couldn’t let you go. The earth, it quakes for you. Little tremors calling your name. You are so loved by the Universe. It breaks just for you. Tell it what you need. It will open its sacred plume — pick the colour of your dreams Find your joy, break yourself … Read More

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