On the lines of
“First lines of Emails I’ve received while Quarantining”
By Jessica Salfia
In these uncertain times,
Here are two updates
Just for you.
We’re happy to announce!
We’re watching an economy die.
We have been in constant communication,
Hope this finds you well.
As you might be aware
A new statistic reveals
Three Big Questions that Still Remain
Is it safe to travel?
How to help your neighbors?
What is ‘Financial Health’?
Important: A voluntary call for help!
Hope you are securely self-isolating.
As you must be aware
The campus has been locked down.
I know it isn’t really the mood right now,
It’s probably getting a little cramped.
We understand the situation.
A gentle reminder!
Hope all of you are keeping well.
Due to the global situation
We have all been entrusted with a great responsibility.
This is to reiterate,
Hope all of us are being able to cope.
The Listening Room is live!
At a time when we are all feeling isolated
Let’s Stay in touch!
We have met the capacity of this meeting.
Sorry, we got disconnected.
Hope you are taking care.
Heard about it. So so sorry.
some things do not work out no matter how much we plan.
I write to you with utmost disappointment,
Hope you and your loved ones are well.
Please forward this,
It’s become a platitude now – but,
Hope you’re holding up.
We wish we didn’t have to write this email, but
It is our biological wiring to exist.
“I’m bleeding, I’m not just making conversation.”
– Richard Siken
The rut of fingers on screens, fingers on thighs,
The neurotic discourse of calendaring and catch ups
and quaint cafe dates and months due phone calls
–– is all petrol,
a chrysanthemum numbness
to delay delay delay my clitoral panic.
The undoing of straps and mistakes and this
touching myself with political bloodbathing that
stains panties of strangers –– is only
to delay delay delay the naked debris of my anxiety
what I’m saying is
when he’s in me, all action delays inaction
Penetration, if you will, is a mere curfew for
the mania of a post-sex life that slaps me in the face ––
my orgasm is a call for a carnivorous submersion
so I keep myself busy with
foreplay play play play
this game where everything delays
everything delays panic and death.
I wonder so much just one less than you
a muddy toe from
hopping over a freshly watered bush
golden hour at 6am
and your window sill allowing a sunlit canvas
for you to paint the shadow of your hand;
a receding wave that leaves behind 3 shells and a hot orange crab
like your arms, on fire and hairy, a soft man’s fantasy;
the drop of shower amb-
ling in the small of your back after you dry your bare hair –
you revolt at silver signifiers that
carve a woman out of you –
your hair is your mane and your land, as
who will ever tell a lake to bend softer?
the third sip of ginger tea, adequately
singing to you while you hold your heart
hearing you paint me into something loveable,
the scribbles on your wall
you’re never two
but more than one
the boy in you
the woman in you
Niharika Yadav is a student of economics, currently working at a government affairs firm. She likes to come home to poetry and music, and absolutely adores shadows, Yoko Ono and Drag.