Monday, July 27, 2020

Ankit Anand


It’s the heat that gets you first, the smoke
Follows. Maybe it’s the blanket. It is
Summer, after all. Did I leave the
Stove on? I nudge him. Did I leave
The stove on? Go back to sleep, he says.

The smoke is thicker now and I begin
To cough. Something’s wrong. Crackle. What
Was that? I throw the bedsheet off, run
Open the door. There’s fire in the stairway.
It has a punk haircut; orange and blue
And purple. I grab him by the nightshirt
. It’s too large on him. Fire, I try
I try to say. Then point. His eyes widen
“Open the window,” he screams. I slip and scamper.

I see him. Standing below. My husband. What has he
Done? I deserve it. I sit. The fire burns.
He screams. My husband looks. I don’t look.

He’s charged with manslaughter. I hope he goes to
Hell. Because if he comes up here
I won’t be able to look him in the eye.

Gerald So reads "Heat":

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Ankit confesses: " wrote this poem as an exploration of passion, and the ambiguities associated with it."

ANKIT ANAND lives and works in San Jose, California.

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