Demi Richardson studied writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming with Broken Tooth Press, Red Flag Poetry, SLAB, Alien Mouth, and Words Dance.
the first story I told you had to do with my father
and when you walked me home that night
you didn’t ask to stay
but I let you.
at five in the morning I stood on my front steps
with the porch light on and
watched you get all the way across the parking lot
before I called my best friend,
woke her up,
just to tell her about the way your hands looked
bringing coffee back to bed.
HOW IT ENDS
in a gallery, with you
looking sideways at me,
and deciding that girls with dark hair
and an affinity for Kahlo
are girls to steer clear of – or
in taxicabs, in
hotel rooms, in
half-empty bottles of whiskey
and artificial loss,
my throat is tight with
who is she? and why’d you go?
you are pouring honey and apologies
into your tea
(then you stop drinking tea altogether)
it ends soft
or with another big bang.
it ends the way it’s supposed to,
without us getting in each other’s way.
Chris said, “You need to find something else to wear.” and
my grandfather said, “Look at your hands – they’re blooming
In the passenger seat of my car, Ryan said,
“You are too selfish.”
Later, Sam told me we had time – as in, “You don’t have to
decide right now.”
Andrew said, “I know what you’re saying,
even if you don’t think I do.”
(I really wish he hadn’t said that.)
Jake said, “Come over.”
(Later, Jake said, “We shouldn’t have done that.
There is a lot that I
Bryan held my hand in the hospital, told me to
“Squeeze when it hurts.”
Damon wrote in a letter,
“I didn’t hurt you
this time around.”
Eric said, “Don’t tell her about this.”
And I said, “Okay.”
I said, “I won’t.”
A MAN ON THE TRAIN
has white lilies in his arms.
He moves his bag so that I may sit, and I ask him
where I might find flowers
as pretty as his.
His English is broken and his skin is brown, which is to say,
he is European
South American or
Middle Eastern or
or – I want to tell him,
I’m glad you are here – I want to ask
Where are you going?
instead I say,
You have the loveliest flowers.
Where can I find flowers
as pretty as yours?
Debasish Parashar is an art and culture enthusiast, singer, lyricist, multilingual poet based in New Delhi, India. He is an Assistant Professor of English literature at the University of Delhi. He has sung for 'In Search of God' and 'Raag'. His write-up on Majuli has been listed amongst top 100 online #worldheritagesites stories globally in May 2016 by Agilience Authority Index. His works have appeared in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Scarlet Leaf Review, Enclave/Entropy, Indiana Voice Journal, Asian Signature, Five2One, Mused, Gazeta National(Albanian translations), Muse India, The Australia Times and elsewhere. Debasish's works are featured in three international anthologies namely 'Where Are You From' (New York), 'Apple Fruits of an Old Oak' (U.S.A) and 'Dandelion in a Vase of Roses'(U.S.A). Find him on https://debasishparashar.wordpress.com and MrDevParashar@twitter.
Roots Are Sticky
I come from a place where flowering of bamboos and
unnatural deaths are supposed to be bad
a migrating place whose time coordinates are trapped inside
a trapezium stuffed with bamboo shoot pickles and slices of Dominos Pizza
doped into a dialect of disassociation
the small place of my birth feels ticklish and sneezes
even its sneezes come in packages these days
I come from a place that has no brothels no night life
its days are hungry beasts caressing nights
in cars,multiplexes and parks.Mood is on but shy
from honor to gossips
inter-caste marriages have covered a tedious journey
in my small town for heterosexuals
confession is a form of protest
and my people have started talking,sharing,confessing
on TV,Facebook,Insta,Twitter,blogs,etc. etc.
a migrating place
migration is a form of liberty a protest in itself
and my place is migrating with sticky roots.
your body is a barkhan
at the tip of my fingers
you become more than a body
in the process I age myself
as a raaga Hamsadhwani mutates into a Bhairavi
cuddling in a garden of whispers
aarohs and avarohs
through death and dreams
and faith and whims
I become you
you sit at the tip of my fingers
bathing in red ink you bend my fingertips
you dig your teeth deep
into the arteries of time
that my soporific body is
blood trickles out
through a hole wider than dementia
to speak of indomitable angry soliloquies
on unequal battles,witchcraft,
burnt Queens and bald widows,
zenanas and feeble whispers
you strip this nocturnal chaos
passion strips patriarchy
bit by bit
for a new dawn
(Raaga:Special melodic modes used in traditional South Asian music genres like Indian classical music and qawwali.Hamsadhwani and Bhairavi are respectively evening and morning raagas.
Aaroh and Avaroh: Ascending and descending notations in a musical composition like a Raaga.
Zenana: The inner chamber of a house for the seclusion of women in India and Iran)
(Albanian translation of this poem was published in Gazetta Nacional in Albania)
More Than Love 1
in strange mornings
when rivers turn into roots of memory
and skies into an orange pool of taboo
I often think about meeting you
like strangers across rooftops
sundances clouded by leaves of red spring
will not even stop us
from sharing glances across rooftops
how strangely you drape my pashmina mornings
around your naked breasts
how strongly I feel
my strangers across rooftops
in a Bhupali morning like this
we shall meet each other
more intimate than lovers