ON THE PLANTATION
OF DAUGHTERS

Uncanny Magazine
6 September 2022
Speculative Poetry

 

 komarika (that you may find solace when spurned, your fingers searing supernova around the perimeter of diyas; that even when clay ceases to calm you will be caressed; that when you ride

to battle there will be balm
keeping vigil in the tent;

that your hair will grow back

as often as you blade it stark

to your skull in mourning,

in mutiny, in signaling beacons and transports of joy—

TRICONA
Strange Horizons
14 March 2022
Speculative Poetry

 

now that the last unstaked earth

we can claim is the triangle wedged beneath fore and hind wheels

I burn with hunger for cremation knowing

you will feed my embers to the chassis

at night and gather me close

in the oil-choked morning

and not be imprisoned for littering

and I will do the same for you. 

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES
Uncanny Magazine
1 March 2022
Speculative Poetry

 

Every day you leave

I think about leaving you

and Chaya from Marketing says

Marie why don’t you bring your man 

to the borrels anymore

and Chaya’s sisters are shifters

and I could tear the plowed fields apart with them for miles after work and dark

and you’d never notice.

YENE ZEMA, FIKIR
Transition
Issue 131, November 2021
Nonfiction

 

Their names surround me now, both the ones they have given me and the ones I have given them as protection, each one a cup infused with so many strains of tea: emotions, adjectives, the whole of the Holy Bible. Their names mean leader, shield, blessed, and pure; their names mean beautiful, Sheba, queen, and joy. They have names that sing of silk, of fabric rustling over red terracotta floors, of ancestors commanding endure; they have names passed down from Noah, over eons and oceans, through infinite worlds. 
 

AYZOSH
Sky Island Journal,
Issue 18, October 2021 
Poetry

The Tamil script is an abugida,

like Amharic, like Sinhala;
it slips through my fingers faster

than grains of Jaffna sand.
There are no words in any of my tongues for everything I want to say.

NOVENA
Sky Island Journal,
Issue 18, October 2021 
Poetry

  1. Do your nails pink like smoked tilapia

  2. Does the hair on your knuckles 

  3. Does the sleight of the pen weigh

  4. Does the underbelly of your lips

KATTAKUMANJAL
Lammergeier,
Issue 10, Autumn 2021 
Flash Nonfiction

Our next-door neighbor wields incense to ward off mosquitoes. Every evening she circles her yard carrying a copper saucer of benzoin, boiled down to the consistency of treacle. The smell stays with us forever after the first inhalation; it clings to clothes, hair, sinuses.

TO THE WOMAN OF COLOR WHO OFFERED ME A POST-VACCINE LIFT
ANGLES,
Issue 9, Summer 2021 

Poetry

Could you believe I knew every song

they played on the tannoy

in those thirteen minutes –

Oasis and John Denver and Bob Dylan and the ghost of my grandfather

sipping arrack in his gardening clothes

listening to Gold FM,

right before the soldier-nurse asked me

do you have a fear of needles.

IGLOO
Club Plum Literary Journal,
Vol. 2, Issue 3, July 2021 
Flash Nonfiction

 

Afternoon sunlight. A radiance through the stand on the opposite bank, startling the snow into iridescence, sequins embedded wherever the light touches. Promises and gold. There’s a science to it, but you’ve forgotten.

BULLETPROOF
SAGA Vol. 84, May 2021
1st Place, SAGA Poetry Award

 

America is burning, smoke bombs

and teargas,

and my best friend’s head is haloed

by fluffy black curls,

and I switch off the stove

and sit by the unlocked door until

he knocks rings the doorbell texts me knocks again,

because he’s remembered too.

TUSKER BLUE
Strange Horizons
15 August 2022
Speculative Fiction

 

“Please,” the voice begged again, and this time there was something terribly familiar about how it wisped at the edges. You turned and Hailé was hunched by the counter, holding the Rift in his bare stomach together with his hands. Blue memory fluid, almost but not quite the shade of an April sky over the paddy fields, flowed through his fingers and down his sarong before coiling away through the ankle-deep water.

SKIN DEEP
Cartridge Lit
26 May 2022
Poetry

 

Rampart is everyone

I’m scared you imagine after I leave
so stereotypically brash, so phenotypically neat, the East India Company vowels
so freshly unboxed, so unlike my IRL tongue that can’t untangle w and v
because my language will soon be too extinct to earn subtitles.

7 P.M. IN AMSTERDAM-OOST
Off Assignment
13 December 2021
Flash Nonfiction

 

In this neighborhood, every building is a jewel box, windows flung wide; we don’t believe in curtains, my Dutch friends tell me, because we have nothing to hide.

SANCTUM
Random Sample Review
Issue 6, October 2021
Flash Nonfiction

 

You knee-walk off the bed and wear his slippers into the bathroom. The boys in the house have no toilet paper and the way Fox is telling it, neither does anyone else in the state. 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sky Island Journal,
Issue 18, October 2021 
Poetry

where        do i buy pregnancy tests

where        is Walgreens near me

where        is my insurance accepted

where        will they send me if i get 

where        can i get an abortion for free

AIRPLANE MODE
Lammergeier,
Issue 10, Autumn 2021 
Flash Nonfiction

They leave at 3PM on a Sunday.

Four hours after the taxi braves the plummeting jackfruits and cavernous potholes to disappear down the lane, you find your sister’s sandal waiting upright by her bed.

THE INVESTIGATION IS STILL ONGOING
Entropy,
1 September 2021 
Nonfiction

I have been justifying, as so many of us do, my actions and my life after the fact. When in fact none of it is relevant, because I wasn’t the one who put all this in motion. But that’s how we’re trained, isn’t it? That’s how we’re raised. I’ve provided the background, Your Honour. Now let me present the facts of the case.

FLAYED
ANGLES,
Issue 9, Summer 2021 
Poetry

I am cracked leaf skin the wrong shade of brown decaying under thermals and socks and camisoles and sweaters and tights and jeans and lingerie and leather and hats and scarves and gloves and if you wanted to peel me into pieces it would take you longer than it would to build an igloo outside the dormitory ice piled on ice piled on ice fingers losing all feeling and so disappearing –

LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY
SAGA Vol. 84, May 2021 
3rd Place, SAGA Prose Award

Nonfiction

The kanji hangs over my head and weaves itself into my dreams. 忍/shinobu/endure. It’s an eighth-century Japanese ideogram, rendered in thick brush strokes on an A5 canvas daubed to look like parchment; my little sister and I painted it together, one of the last things we would share before the coronavirus pandemic trapped us on opposite sides of the globe. 

FOR [REDACTED]
Vasquez-Valarezo Award 2021
1st Place

You said, “I’m risking my life to do this,”

and then you asked me to name

your activist Instagram page.

           kilometres away

your people were being massacred

and who was I to say no?

Somewhere in               

a soldier wiped down his bayonet;

his friends holstered their smartphones.

JEWEL PATIENCE
Sky Island Journal,
Issue 16, April 2021

Flash Fiction

No one told me that the spirit against whom I would have to guard would be a woman with skin as smooth as a ripe brinjal, that her hair would be braided tighter than the ropes of my fishing nets, that she would speak a language older than Sinhala and I would understand her anyway.