you slip out the open door of my spine.

when i pass you in dim-lit hallways, my fingers 
brush your wrists, lingering, unbodied. i dream of 
you – perched in air, eyes strange and diya-limned. 
my throat is still cupped between your hands. 

i do not take it back. i dream of girlhood: 
unhesitant, unblinking. saying, relentlessly

i hold bare-knuckled syllables, press them against 
my mouth like the light-bait curve of your cheek. home 
is a drifting, unmoored: i stumble, chasing ghost-tongued 
sound in twilit gray, in trackless and holied land.

close my eyes to the spilt refraction of your laugh.
my palms are thief-branded, my shoulders trapped
in the muscle memory of touching you, careless.

i don’t want to forget this. i want to forget this.

i do not take my throat back.

Kavi Kshiraj is a queer, Indo-American poet found in New Jersey. They spend time on hobbies such as writing, mythology, and their various identity crises.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.