achatterjee

Singapore

Published Work

On Courage

lovely

please call me lovely
mama said if they call me lovely my
wrists will grow to fit the bangles Aita left me.
the gold turn turned to rust from the tears
of an armor that was never going to fit in my hands

please call me lovely
my estranged grandmother says that is the 
the only thing that will save me from the discovery
of the damaged dilapidated deranged part of my heart
that developed as my parent's drastic marriage died

please call my lovely
for my words are catastrophically tragic. they bleed metaphors
instead of pet names. when my mother taught me to punch
i do not think she anticipated all the bruises. 
nobody will fall in love with knees like yours
nobody will understand poetry like this

why couldn't you be lovely?

please call me lovely
perhaps in jumpsuits and blazers, I have forgotten how to be
a lovable woman. the words are like buttered toast smooth
and...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

blasphemies

Mama’s blasphemous heart feels every heartbreak three times as strongly.
one for each of her tragedies.

i.
never say I love you unless they love you more
just in case they wrangle your heart. just in case they bruise it.
my grandmother has always been red-blue colorblind in the way
she distinguishes heartbreak from love. Perhaps a century
slowly eroding at what is left of her marriage
mama cries the same kind of blood from her eyes dreading
the day her mother’s memories of her will slowly disappear too.
ii.
drastic and disastrous are hands vicious and pernicious
clawing their way into crimson hearts crippled and naive.
motor oil and embers have grown to be her friends
because that way- one day- none of her will be left.
combustion and tragedy sit like a raja and a rani on their thrones
wondering if you can see past their blaze,
wondering if her sobs are loud enough to silence it.
iii. ...

Love in Words

dear dichotomy,

dear dichotomy,
I do not know what it means to fall in love. My mother always told me that the bruises on my knees will prevent anybody from ever calling my eyes anything other than night. As if the way the pavements have kissed my bones has led prying eyes can see too deep into the holes in my heart. Fragility is my best friend and I hold her in whichever face I am trying to memorize.
Still, I live in this amaranthine desire to be held my arms that are warmer than mine but to never get close enough to get hurt. My direct screw you to the gods because I refuse to be weak enough to let someone break me like my father broke my mother.
“It’s gotta be that way!”
“Why?”
“Oh, wouldn’t you like to know?”
“Classy,” shoot. I promise I don’t feel a flutter. I’m too scared of butterflies, “So then how do you think...