Featured Poetry

Aftertaste

By Anureet Watta

No greater desire exists than a wounded person’s need for another wound.” – Georges Bataille

Let us begin at after,
the brief moment of quiet where everyone swears to grieve without uttering revenge,
the bodies vacant apart from their thumping hearts stand amongst their rifles,
and sway.

All the men run naked or in various stages of undressing to throw a punch,
all cycle chains may as well be tied to kites to halve the sky.
Call it predisposition.
Call it inherent, the way, hands folded in prayer are unable to stay still.
Call it a primordial instinct to lie about what we want.

Everyone vows to never do this again,
this mindless undoing of bodies, this apathetic war,
everyone apologizes,
gunpowder mouth, teeth chipped from the wrath;

a wrath that puts enough distance between the hunter and the prey,
that keeps your linen clean, out of the way of the spatter of blood,
far from the flying pieces of debris.

But we weren’t bred with patience.
we don’t wait for healing,
for the skin to flake, for the pink to fade,
each time we dig our teeth right in-

We say never again,
and we go home and polish our barrels,
can’t stand the innocence of a bullet lying idle.

You always have to play a part, the prey or the hunter,
more often than not, the gun.


Anureet Watta

Anureet Watta is an artist and poet living in Delhi. They have previously been published in the Bombay Review, South Asian Today, amongst other publications. They currently head the Delhi based artists’ organization Forbidden Verses

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