• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Self Care

My nails are not manicured and I’ve been
dipping my fingers inside my tub of ice cream,
licking the mirth of the mango and milk.
The acoustic version of your favourite song is playing
on the radio in this city that never sleeps. A radio jockey
tries to resolve someone’s heartache over the airwaves
in between old Bollywood music that writes home
about the खोया हुआ चाँद, तुम्हें लिखें हुए ख़त,
और वो पेहला पेहला प्यार. My cat purrs in between my feet,
she feels so soft against my skin and uncharacteristically comforting, the little bitch that she is. I wash my face
with a watermelon face wash and when I look at myself
in the mirror, I allow myself my transgressions,
my lust, my pettiness. After all, I may not have a perfect life,
but I do have perfect skin. I want to call you, put the phone
close to the radio, so we can listen to this song about
मेरा चुराया हुआ दिल, feel your distance on the line, and
pretend like we’re far away lovers sitting on either side of
the country joined by a telephone wire. But I don’t call you.
This is my moment to lie askew on my bed, play with the
night lights, watch the smoke rise from my cigarette
while my cat licks the rest of the ice-cream tub.
I’m wearing only my oldest t-shirt that I sneaked away
from its fate of becoming a duster. It smells of myself
and all the women I used to be.
Forgive me, I’m feeling fabulous.