I am Shiva
in a woman’s body:
blue, bold, and built to demolish.
Built to rebuild—
setting the stage alight to celebrate
the sacrifice of my wonder: its mortal body
and unintended survival.

This edition features art by Ruchi Sinha. Do catch more of her work at @not_a_pangloss and @snhruchi


All we ask for is freedom for the body
within the body, for our children to run
as they please, for the pain never to be
larger than the joy, for the kitchen
to be a permanent site of abundance,
for there to be music in the mornings,
for us to put our hands on one another
without having someone watch
through the window, across the street,
through the walls, and so on. All we
want is for our hiding to be voluntary,
chosen, beautiful, not a prerequisite
to our survival. All we want is to kiss
and fuck and love as we will and
to live. Yes, that’s it. A simple day
spent without the fear of its hours
being stolen or impermanent.


veiled, like eyes of death, I shelter
myself brainsick, darling
my love is incomplete, it has
holes in it, craters, endless
mouths agape, my love is
unsettled, inadequate, but
my body! if only you could see
the grace of it, its glistening,
more life than song, darkened
through to the bone, I know
it must be difficult
for you, being abandoned like that
in exchange for a silly dance,
but could you really, could you ever
just pause to understand
how crucial it is for this moment
to blissfully pass


What I had called into obscurity
was another name

of yours, built
for this house,

displayed hanging from the
ceiling, on the

shelves, in my hands,
and so on. I thought

that would be enough to fix you
in place like a

stain or a fever.
Ghost-like, love,

you were supposed to stay for the
sound of my voice

calling you


To bring you back: not as you were then
but as I willed you to be. Deadwood,
tongue-like, drawn out. If I was to write
a poem of love now it would be striking,
incomplete, and yet,
what else can I do with this body?
I am trying to piece ours together: from the sound of it to the thought,
expendable, worn, I don’t know what, all I want is for you to return
so that the skin of my life
swells again with consistency. I want you
not for the largeness of your breath.
I want you for your arms, legs, neck, etc.
Simple anatomy. I want you bit by bit,
broken apart, the smallest ear first,
your fingers last. But more than that I want you: gone,
removed from me, dislodged from the dream.
Whittled down, soft as stone. Like apples
picked. Or someone else’s fault.
I want you mine or not at all
and either way, to pass the night with ease.
That makes my agenda brief.


our woman-loves, our sacred
jealousies, our wish for
genuine velvet draped
over skin, the wrong skin
made gently right,
gliding, glistening,
spectacularly mundane,
a sunrise we had meant
to catch together
but overslept, it was
that time again, too
late, unmistakable
possibilities, in your arms
I speak gleefully of arms
I speak gleefully—
our insanity, our frightful
rememberings, the orange
seams of dawn
curling, the edges
uniquely soft, our
seasons repeating
without losing
spark, our darkest
nimblest resolve

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