Reshma Austin

Death by water


In lukewarm amnion…
Saturated with baby piss…
His birth mother choked with passion,
Thanked heavens,
The river never ran dry.
By its side, he learnt
Water burnt your nostrils,
Baptized you in fire.

Little feet faltered
On river bed pebbles, smoothened
By time and being…
Stop horsing around, boy!
I’m trying to catch fish
With my worn out dhoti.
It’s okay to eat them!
They are too puny to have feelings…
He fancied her-
A scrap of cloud reflected,
Peeping shyly amongst hyacinths.
The oceanic waves of her hair
Took him in
Broke across the small of his back
Like a sack of gravel.
She gasped for air,
Spat out the brine,
Fuzzy white mix…
It receded back
As quickly as it came.

It was a delayed victory
Of the stained blade…
His blood became one
With the magical element-
No more games, sweetheart,
Try not to save me the burden
Of my own being…


Reshma-Austin-Reshma A. is a writer from Trivandrum, Kerala (South India).She did her MA and M Phil in English literature from the University of Kerala.

A collection of her short stories in my mother tongue (Malayalam) was published by DC books Kerala some years back. Lately she has turned to poetry, mostly in English. A collection of her recent poems has been published by the Writers’ Workshop, Kolkata (titled Iam).

%d bloggers like this: