The Girl with the Apple

The talk was to tell us about the uncounted
I am the girl with the apple.
Bring sensitivity to criminalized bodies, she was saying
I am the one digging through my knapsack, making a ruckus.
But how do you un-stitch politics from data collection?, someone was asking.
I am the girl who took a second bite during the Q & A session.

“That’s an interesting question.”
Apple juice is dribbling down my chin, down the sides of my fingers.
“Funders have mandates.”
“Funders have machetes?”
Someone glances over, my third bite
bit around the orbit
made a last ledge right on the spine, near the core.



Across from me on the train this morning,
I watched a woman fall asleep,
seated and swaying.
And I could tell, she was used to this
— knowing how not to
let her head rest against a stranger’s shoulders
even as it bends towards it.


I dreamt I was pregnant. And pleased.

I dreamt I was roasting live fish by the ocean, against a violent and bloody sun. The fish turns dark and charred inside the fire and I place it with great care on my plate. The fish writhe and change into earthworms which refuse to die. They try to escape my plate, my fork, the cave of my mouth where I thrust them in anyway.

And slurp them like slippery, electric noodles. I have question marks hanging from my mouth.


It smelled like sun baked
feet. Strewn across the yard
were pieces of car tire rubber,
marking the empty backyard.
As if some un-imaginable demon had
let out its rage through the underbelly of automobiles.
Rigged border wars
a blunder
scattered lead
Tires and splinters
grate fired coal
feet and sun eat blood,


As evening slipped into place, the glass pane that I was leaning on, had grown cold. The setting sun baked its last heat into the window pane and bent the light inside the room. Spots of color appeared on the floor like stains, like spills, like mistakes.

The rupture could not be mended – there were no tools, no words that could help. The wounds were ossified relics from an older, gone-away age. They were necessary memories of a forgotten people and a left-behind time.