I think of freedom as an empty vessel
singing about god’s mercy and how she
thrashed the skies, how the rivers flocked
to her bedside as god sang the mountains
into existence. I think of death blistering along
the underside of our arms or of stabbing
fresh meat until it ripens. I dream of the
release when milk spills from our mouths,
baby teeth gleaming on the rooftop.
I dream of an origami moth’s tongue
folding and bursting into flames.
I think of gulping the smoke billowing
from our cars and wonder how fish
can plunge down the toilet but wash up
on shore, glowing clean, dripping wet
onto the sand. You see, I want to learn
how to flush my sins like purging the
aftertaste from wine. Prayers slip down
the steps of a temple and I ask god how to
wring the sadness from my body. I dream
of scraping the salt from my silhouette.
Rachana Hegde is an eighteen- year-old Indian writer from Hong Kong. Her poetry has appeared in DIALOGIST, Diode Poetry Journal, and The Blueshift Journal. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and nominated for Best of the Net. Find her at www.rachanahegde.weebly.com.