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By Avanti Tulpule

  1. Rellotge
    By Brittany Ahn
women make homes of hunger & i hold two in the hollows of my mouths: my mother’s, and mine. there is no beginning to my story, only a mother, another, another. so i start with an ending. a moment of silence for the child buried under my tongue. you can pause, freeze-frame, rewind. but choose to continue.
aii, what good is a body who cannot endure? what good is a girl who knows her hunger by name? my name, ancient empire of the heavenly mountains. my name, a faux-fur store in downtown toronto, a microwave factory in north carolina.
night, a body of bloodlust. moonlight wrapping its fingers around my throat. i remember only fragments and only fog. rose-lit bathroom, locked door. a prayer in the kitchen - kneeling on my bed - my father says “thank you” when i clean shattered glass & doesnt tell me who broke it. i can only mourn what i have never lost.
i renounce mirrors. i look inside spoons & sometimes i look back. yesterday i asked myself whats the difference between a cognitive distortion and a woman? have i relapsed into comedy or have i relearned girlhood? berry-bruised boys crawl between myself and my bodies, their skin fluorescent, glowing. i am smeared on glossy magazines, cracked pavement. two fingers. three mouths.
aii, when does history let go of my grieving?
i kiss magazine covers until the pages are damp with lipgloss. i kiss bathroom floors and leave only teeth behind. i break glass dishes to keep from breaking. glue my father into a shoebox-diorama & throw him into the sea, his voice a mouthful of static.
two answers: when you find yourself cleaning another man’s kitchen, unlock all of his doors. let go. let yourself go. draw unibrows on fashion models with a felt tip marker and kiss them anyway. sip salt water & look toward the moon until you become an ocean. eat only seaweed, build a raft of plastic spoons you've found on the beach. journey until you hear siren-song.
drown. drown again. & trust in the current to push you back to shore. only after unliving can you be / come. closer. daybreak shatters a pixelated dark into technicolor. i unwrap a body from its pulpy cardboard coffin. i cut open my forehead with a felt tip marker and kiss my reflection. i swallow.
history weaves a future into the shoreline.