Read his head like a bounty. 

Set a price on his face. 

Spit back, quick scan, hides his faith. 


Untied shoelaces bound to trip. 

Pulls on this cord he leaves dirty.

Left no footprint. 


Soft as words unspoken. 

The ball rolls round its wheel.

Unloaded bullets bounce in his pocket.


Cocks his mouth open. 

Mutters as it spins, 

a fresh red wound.




Vermillion dust speck. 

Love me again. 

Another prayer unanswered. 


White limestone ash. 

From a dying flame. 

Lay me dead on this same pedestal. 


Sandalwood paste. 

The tree’s scent remains hollow. 

Longing for its smell. 


Feed my hand to fire.

Wear this sacred promise. 

Never see me again.




Sacred nights spent crafting.

The cracked crown of a king.

Read only by the darkness. 


You can spin your needle. 

Throw loops and silence evil.

But you can’t weave his fate.


Lick the ash from your forehead. 

Stickier than sweat. 

Flick it off. 


The light;

It’s gone. 

Was it ever there in the first place?


Written by Haran Thirumeni and edited by Nethra Tennakoon and Lauren Timmins. Published on 9/7/2023. Image from Unsplash.

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