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Dining Table Silence

by Shriya Mkumar 

we are dimmer today. words wait at the door, beneath our tongues.

If i did say anything, i’d want you to know that silence screams loud.

louder than boiling milk,  fractured cutlery, louder than we used to be.

now we’re reduced to invisible nods behind sips of jasmine tea,

not knowing a love that knows kissing anything but the cup

coffee rings that circumscribe stories of what we were and what we could've been.

all you had to do was say something. But you never did.

And i was too proud to break the silence.  So we did the best we could,

we broke bread, like the promises we made in bed.

i kneaded and i needed, a lot more than you

in a different world, my brother called back and your father was kind.

in a different world, you told me what the hell was going on in your mind.

it’s upsetting knowing you but it's maddening not to.

lonely kettles and lonelier springs. My dear, the bees stung with pity,

 the flowers slowed their songs, watered off-key with my tears. 

you never allowed us to bloom, only comfortable with sprouting. 

rooted in running sand. 

Well, the next time you have your coffee black

you’ll taste the bitter state you left me in but i’d never stop drinking,

i’d rather have the darkest and quietest parts of you than have nothing.

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Shriya Mkumar (she/her) is a desi poet with a love for brownies, books, and busy days. She is the co-founder of Filter Coffee Zine, her work has been published on various platforms like Gen Control Z, The Teen Tribune, and more.  

Some more of her work include Type, Type, Typing Type of Love, and Ma I'm Home and Breathing Flowers and Unblinking eyes, which available soon in Erato, Issue I: Bloom

About the author:
Shriya Mkumar

Photo:  Orange Eyes by Erato Magazine via Wombo 

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Photo:  Typing by Erato Magazine via Wombo 

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