because you didn’t wash the dishes

Shlagha Borah

I was groped   by our friend   on Diwali       the eggshells broke   we were on a bench
we stepped on lava    I leaned onto dirt       he leaned onto me    mirroring the moon
          its whiteness    its paleness     the nothingness         the everythingness
                               of the trees      their pirouette didn’t pause
     for three days           shaped into a week    we mutinied    the dishwasher
     outside         dogs barked     the ironer barked      it didn’t matter            because
        where we live          we wash             our dishes     our visceral selves
     by hand by foam      by muscle memory   the lights went out    food turned frost
we erased a friend                     we kept fighting                  over whose fault it was

Shlagha Borah (she/her) is a poet from Assam, India. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Longleaf Review, Rogue Agent, Nonbinary Review, long con magazine, Ninety Seven Poems (Terribly Tiny Tales & Penguin), and elsewhere. She is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and volunteers as a Poetry Reader at Grist. A Brooklyn Poets ’22 Fellow and recipient of the 2023 Spring Fellowship from Sundress Academy for the Arts, she co-founded Pink Freud, a student-led collective working towards making mental health accessible in India. Instagram: @shlaghab Twitter: @shlaghaborah

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