This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Solstice Black, is from The End is Not Apocalypse by Another Morning Where Everyone Tells me I'm Dead by Tanya JADE VINE Singh, released by Yavanika Press in 2021.
Content warning for genocide, death, and violence.
I have felt love before so I recognise the absence of it
“My neighbours still make fun of how scared I used to be in those early days. I used to count my children every night. One day, one of my sons was missing and I came out crying on the streets, only to realise he had gone off to the neighbours,” says Attar Kaur.
– Niha Masih, 1984 anti-Sikh riots: Time doesn’t heal the pain. Ask Attar Kaur
At night, the quiet rubbed. It ached so full of ghosts, bodies scattered like crumbs. Your dead friends find you in the middle of nowhere. You put your hands where you were last seen and you disappear. In the thick of the fog, stinging, you sing with your mouth closed. Remember the god of ruins. Remember your bed covered in fault lines, the mirror framed with dirty golden. You never spell death but you mean it every time. Bastards, they’re all bastards, the rioters say. In the afternoon you find a thick skull on the street. So, naturally, you pick it up and bring it home.
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