by Saheli Khastagir 

I am tethered to your brokenness.

These times are so hard,
Every “breaking news”
like a blow my phone hands to my gut
in small indifferent doses.
Each blow spreads my ribs to make room for

The splinter on his back
-the slow breaking of bones and spirits
cleared small rooms for each of us in fit in
to his embrace.

In these scars on our bodies,
the blood dried into soil
to nurture new lives, new loves.

{Is that why childbirth is so painful?}

The gravel in his throat
-like the skinned knee that puberty hands them-
helped sculpt that voice that crashes onto my name,
“Sahe-li”…just so. Perfect.

We plant our hearts in wounds shaped like us,
our hearts- the only muscle that grows and grows
into light-beams guiding our feet towards brokenness
that mirror us.



About the Poet:  Saheli Khastagir is a self-taught painter, writer and development professional. Her work spans development issues like gender, education, health, sanitation and others across South Asia. Her poems have appeared in or will soon appear publications like The Bombay Review, Guftugu Kitaab, papercuts, and anthologies “Map Called Home” and “Ultimate APM Anthology”. You can find her art on her website; she is currently creating 26portraits of writerly women for 26 letters of the alphabet.

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