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On Dissolving

Her shriveled arms twist as easy as cherry stems

tongue-tied by boys’ mouths, hungry

to show off.

Strobe lights flash like silent sirens outside

yet in this dark room

anything goes.

His hands slide down

her ribs, a rollercoaster

the jut of her hip bone, the big drop.


She feels no more beautiful

in his foreign hands

than she does in her mother's –

cradling 3 am breakdowns

with claustrophobic consolation

and the frustration of a fight

no longer being fought.


Squeeze too hard and she’ll break

bone by bone

breath by breath

dissonance devolving into dust

snow powder in the air.

Her hopeless Hail Mary

grasping at zeros on the scale

so fixated on the number

she cannot see herself

dissolving too.

Be Kiran Damodaran.