Rahul Misra
I write mostly poetry, and some fiction. You may find an essay in my feed once in a while. Connect at http://rmisra.com or me@rmisra.com
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St. Joseph’s College — the main building of my primary school [source]

How much of him can I really be expected to remember? It was more than thirty years ago and we were only toddlers. I can’t recall his voice or how tall he was or what his face looked like. The only thing I do remember is the gaping hole left in the pit of my stomach when I realised he wasn’t coming.

But let me back up a bit. It was the year 1987 when the five-year-old me first stepped through the arched corridors of St. Joseph’s College wearing my crisply ironed sky blue shirt, navy blue shorts and polished…

ten years of having my name pronounced wrong

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Kamala Harris has often publicly corrected those who get her name wrong

It really started within minutes of my stepping into the UK, at the airport in London. I had just landed after an eight hour flight from India and stood in the queue for 90 minutes before I was finally called up by the immigration officer.

“Do you know where you’re going?”

I nodded. In my best handwriting, I had noted on the form that I was headed to a hotel on Gloucester Road.

If you are familiar with English addresses, you’ll know that they’re often pronounced differently to how they’re spelled. Gloucester is really Glouster. Obviously, I got it wrong.

on day 30 of the Kashmir blackout

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Photo by Musaib iqbal on Unsplash

Here’s a ghost dragging her crumpled soul to the lake.
The waning moon spills its light into a coin, into her balled
fist, and I wonder if she remembered the poem. Firdaus,

an emperor called this valley once. Out of her blooded
camisole, the knife still buried between the lips of her womb,
she descends into the water. Her skin pale like a wilting lotus,

her wounds hollow like the shape of a murder, like the sins
swallowed by a purple sky, this word reaching up
to my throat and exploding without a sound. Paradise.

Bearded poets once lay under…

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Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash

Every night a life comes to me in a different shape, a different
smell, a different dream. There is no logic in this insomnia,

in the taste of brine under my tongue, in leaking boats, in
fishermen sweat, this drop of old blood on the inside of

my left cheek. A home I have left is also a home refusing
to leave me. Swimming, paddling, drowning, the wet moon

on the beach, on the rising surf in the Arabian Sea. Here a river
twelve years wide, the women and their wicker baskets, a fish

market spied from a round hole…

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Photo by Marc Pell on Unsplash

why does this land I have never seen
demand I return to it in my dreams?

In response to Aaska Ejaz’s one line prompt. Thanks!

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Photo by Tedward Quinn on Unsplash

No sorry not 1 boy but
+ 10 boys &
+ 8 girls
were dead said the news it was a math class
where the shooter littered the floor with 60 peanut shells
his rifle chewed the bullets in a pre-lunch snack
=> 30% of his shots found a target
=> 0.3 lives per bullet
=> 3/10 in fractions

Q. If you enter the classroom at 8 am please calculate the probability you’ll be shot before lunch time Isn’t it a strange world where it’s okay for the victims to be a math problem for the victims to be a…

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Photo by Rodrigo Rodriguez on Unsplash

a name I give things that never stay the same,
a name I give things I am too afraid to name.

In response to the prompt by Jane Vogel. Thanks!

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