Little details, the least distressing ones maybe, I could utter, would, if my soul quit crumbling, gathering like icicles at the soft of my throat.
Circumstantial or by design, pulsing violent, tight-noosing my heart, this empathy, this cursed mirror, quivering even for strangers with voices sharpened into daggers, the blood misted from their words poisonous aerosol, suspended indefinite.
Till silence, merciful, prickles skin, my heart hibernates, a rusty prune not daring to rouse into ballooned fullness, ever-primed for a hasty, tighter shrivel into a flesh mote for when to my home the contagion sails, infects effortless the susceptible, the already compromised.
My essence, burning, freezing, by then, hunts frenziedly for an exit, scratches the larynx, stoppers my throat. At last, when my mouth is pried open by claws of soundless sobs, out trickle from between my lips nothing but wreaths of ink-black smoke.
Neethu Krishnan (she/her) is a writer from Mumbai, India. She holds postgraduate degrees in English and Microbiology and writes between genres at the moment. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Spectacle, Bacopa Literary Review, Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging (Volume Silver), Spoonie Journal, Seaside Gothic and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction piece “Girl, Sunsplit” also recently won the Creative Nonfiction Award in Bacopa Literary Review’s 2022 contest.