4 Poems | Rachana Hegde


It’s always been like this: your hand on the back of my neck / a symphony of gold singeing my skin, marble floor too thin to carry our weight / you are all elegy, skin glistening like slick pavement, and I am still trying to cut you open when / you spit cherry, it’s always been like this: palace too empty, pillars too hollow, walls trying to collapse inward / dirty footprints on a silver platter, you singing bhajans while I learn to play the sitar / it’s always been like this: mango tree bowing at our feet, masala chai sliding down our throats / humidity sinking into the pages of my book, you’re rubbing haldi into my cheeks and it’s our wedding day again – henna stained fingers worrying at my sari, you kissing me at the back of the mandir / it’s always been like this: fear crumbling like soan papdi, superstition tainting our daydreams, nakshatra written on your palm and I keep looking back –



Vera drinks skimmed milk,
blown glass spinning (ocean calling her name),
some days she’s translucent, spitting sparks 
at the boys who catcalled at her friends / “look
at that light bulb burnt out, that’s you tonight,”
she tells them (cracked wide open like
split shells) / Vera doesn’t give a fuck
who he is, imitates his voice in the corridors,
elbows sticking out (affectionate bitch), 
Vera’s eyes are sinkholes, she is death tessellated
into moonlight / hands still like the water glass,
if: half empty, if: half full, if: nostalgic, don’t cut your 
hair / Vera laughs at terrible phantasms, voice like scythe,
ripe with anger / wrapping books in dust & 
handing them out like Christmas presents: 
here is something empty, blank swallowed and glimmer.


another home

bone black tense fleeing
from the jagged in my mouth
oil gleams in the wells 
of your palms
(even in my dreams I am
rusting over,

the wrong shade of sorry)
I spilled kumkum yesterday
(too much red for

a roofless house)
a month from now
I promise to

visit this place awake,

(they’ll mention the bird

that followed me there
molting plumage in

a weeping sky) 
dog was howling

at the bricks, I say,
neighbor chopping beans
(this city is too noisy)
counting almonds,

dripping sugar cane juice, 
once, I dreamed

this kitchen mine,
dusty copse full of

yellowed jars.




summer like apple core crunch, 
an litany of swear words 
in a girl flush-brown thick-screamed;
summer like learning how to speak
to strangers (conversating with the mirror,
door turned window – hi, hello, how are you),
chugging air like syrup, 
a little too bittersweet (for girl 
dreaming: thunderstorm/
crickets chirping/
giant birthday cakes);
summer like unfinished essays, 
letters too sharp (tongue bleeding cement)
girl thinking scared/hair braided/glasses askew;
summer like ignoring the ache,
chocolate melting under her tongue
sheets shucked clean & girl 
never asking what went wrong
(this time)
but she laughs at the boys shivering
under their own weight (a different 
kind of cruelty learned at summer camp) 
biting down on the ice-cream 
melting in their hands;
summer like flightless birds – 
sky turning fresh shades of broken,
girl mouthing bhajans at a bathroom stall;
summer like forgetting how to pray,
summer like singing at her friend,
summer like sore knees & scraped hands &
memories that stung in the daylight.

Rachana Hegde is a 16 year-old girl who collects words and other oddities. During the day, she spends copious amounts of time reading on her Kindle but at night, she dreams about characters from abandoned writing projects. Her poetry has been published by Germ Magazine, Scrittura Magazine and Parallel Ink.



One thought on “4 Poems | Rachana Hegde

Respond to this piece.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s