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by Shaurya Pathania

I have kissed cigarettes on my skin

It has left plenty of dark marks 

on my arms. Living alone is hard, it’s a task 

in itself, I’ve mastered 

it over time. It’s easy now. 

My father asked my mother to visit me. She didn’t 

have to but she did. Surprised, 

she questioned; 

how did I get such marks on my damp skin. 

I told her I don’t remember right; it must 

have been some insect. I might 

be bitten in the night. 

She didn’t reply… 

However, she looked into me, 

piercing my eyes & waited, till her eyes 

fulfil themselves with tears. 

She stopped. I yearned for her words. She yearned 

for mine. Both of us spoke silence. 

She slapped me right at my head & then placed 

my head on her chest, she let me listen to 

her heartbeat. I focused really hard to count 

the beats right. 15,16,17. 

I heard sobs & I lost count. 

I couldn’t remember how much 

did I count last but it raced fast & I 

waited slowly for a minute to pass. 

My bags were packed. 

I live in my village now & the marks 

are still there but they’ve stopped reproducing. 


Shaurya Pathania holds a Masters in English Literature from University of Delhi and currently stays at his home, doing nothing under the sun throughout the whole day. 

He can be contacted @shauryapathani4 on Twitter and @shauryapathania__ on Instagram.


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