To non-medicated mornings I spend the morning thrashing next to chipped white walls, you cut open slices of apples and hide the knives wherever you always hide them. On bad days, I turn into a walking mausoleum ready to be forgotten by historians then brought alive again by eighth grade social science teachers. My worn-out, yellow hoodie spells my name backwards in the mirror. I dig my nails in your forearms to replicate the thinness of knives. The water is flooding the sink, I have forgotten how to ask for help in a way that is polite, and not cruel enough for you to leave me staring at my misgivings wrapped perfectly for supper. I beg the mirror to fix the backwardness of my name and the broken psyche before it explodes into another flood. Of tap water. Of fruits. Of the curved tips of knives. Of the yellow cotton, I’m desperately aching to find comfort in. Fruit Basket or Never Knowing When I Am Showing Symptoms Every night it's another murder. I tenderly place the paper cup full of grapes on the table and call it dinner. A refusal to let myself be happy is an unlisted crime and I commit it every day. Body, you belong to the fruits now. I place the tiny pill at the centre of my tongue, daring it to reinvent biology. If you magnified it, it would look like the peach my heart turns into after dark. After dark, I am prone to bruising. Please do not leave me in the kitchen alone. Another wound re-lived as I stare right through the living room curtains—the bandaids would smell like strawberries and offer rewards to the pain for being small enough to fit inside it. Kissing it better is always the safer option. I talk with my lips shut and eyes overflowing like a tilted mason jar full of pickle juice. Today we slice apples and call it onions, the difficulty to gauge the spaces between the rightness and wrongness is the same either way. For the borderline, the plum recruits itself an entire family. More things for me to run away from before the ruining begins. I hold the seed up to the window—waiting for the sunlight to sink into it—I stand still until the sky turns purple.
Shringarika Pandey (she/her) is an India-based poet, with an upstanding admiration for houseplants, cats and sad indie music. Her words have appeared/are forthcoming in All Guts No Glory, Ayaskala and All Ears. Give her a shout on instagram @boot.theory