I’m eating an orange by Aekta Khubchandani

and polar bears are dying
on my laptop screen.
Black ducks floating backwards, 
a back-bending sun, the see-sawing sky
its bed. My iPhone tells me 
sunflowers face each other
when they can’t spot the sun.

I’m eating peaches 
and living by the river
in my head; sparrows are hopping 
onto branches with last leaves. 
How much has changed with weather,
much has changed and withered. 
I’m wearing a crochet sweater 
of someone who died 
29 years ago. It’s warm in here.

The postcard glued to my window says
It’s pouring outside, my chest 
belted with starbursting sorrow.
My heart is a flat tire lying
on a sandbed, wishing to 
scatter like stars that turn 
into magnanimous purple flowers. 
When will I stop becoming this creature
of wanting and eating, and finally
eat eggs and meat for what they are.

How can I trust my drunk memory 
and want paint cans and unprocessed cheese
for winters when I only lie in bedfake listening to country songs on Spotify.
Sandalwood trees are fragrant 
when they burn. I light
two candles a day.
What happens if I tie a balloon to a rock
and toss it in the ocean? Drink
water, my screen reminds me. 
There’s so much lost 
flora and fauna, 
come look at my room.

Aekta Khubchandani is a writer from Bombay. She holds a dual MFA in Poetry & Nonfiction from The New School. She is the winner of Breakout Prize 2022 in Poetry and The Baltimore Review’s Winter Contest in Poetry. Her fiction, “Love in Bengali Dialect,” which won the Pigeon Pages Fiction contest, has been nominated for Best American Short Fiction. Besides, her work is nominated for Best of Net (Poetry) 2021 by Nurture Literary, Best Microfiction by Passages North, and Favorite Online Articles and Essays by Entropy. She has works published in Speculative Nonfiction, Penn Review, and elsewhere.