Poetry | ‘Story Room’ by Ajay Sawant | Issue 42, March 2023

Story Room

I love telling people about the pandemic in India
even before it’s over, like reading a dramatic note of past

like outbreak, that unfolds faster and faster, then milder
in uneven undertones, forming a suspense curve, in timely perks

I love to see them engrossed in alien land existing just outside the window
and the simplicity of all of it, brain stunts

So when I tell them about the contagion, I tell like it’s a hypothesis about shallow graves
like the plague existing in my mother’s lineage, beyond repair

plague underlined: the people who left never came back
coronavirus underlined: the cut that stored them alive within identity scar

so I say it’s the past, for a true story can be a dangerous weapon
for past is a language that cannot be altered and present another that changes the future

tonight I stay silent on the argument for it’s a sparkling papercut to the civilians;
that a voice might cut into streets, riots, savageries and six

this room is a chamber of dried cobbles and echoes of caves
this room is the only place keeping the secret of the lip remains intact to its place

Ajay Sawant currently serves as Editorial Director at Globalage Poetry and Editorial Intern at Five South Literary Magazine. He has previously also served as guest editor at Inlandia Institute’s Literary Review. He is an art activist and public speaker. His recent poems appear in Detester Magazine, VAYAVYA, America’s Art & Understanding Magazine, The Virgin Island’s – The Carrabian Writer, Hawaii Pacific University’s Hawai’i Pacific Review and forthcoming in Xavier Review, Inlandia: a literary magazine and The Louisville Review & Fleur-de-Lis Press Ajay can be reached on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ajaycycles. Recent publications include pieces in Rattle, Lunch Ticket, Louisville Review, Leavings Magazine, Claw and Blossom, LiveWire India and Christopher Hewitt Writing Prize.

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