Poems by Sneha Bhura



 A blank wall is a canvas

On a sore head Sunday

The sitar sings self-care

Fingering oil into hair


Bristle brush, watercolour

Camel black, burnt umber

On plastic kitchen palette

They slather and slubber



Long, quivering iron logs

Go up and down the wall

They stop in their tracks

An arc their rise forestalls



It still looks like a prison

So I paint quiet creepers

Which fall like ribbons

The bars sing Vermeer



Is it a floating headboard

Or a secret garden door?

A question not as vexed as

If or not he cares anymore 


History, it rhymes



When you fixed your tie

And cleared your throat

To ask, “Do you like boys?”

I pursed my lips and ran away

You were nine, I was eight



Now, as I wait

For a flicker of a text

You are that tie-trendy ghost

With wounded eyes

And a bloated nose



A schoolboy image of a pop star

With hair parted like Jesus

In his biochemistry class

Except you now chase kites

Where the wild things are



A moonstruck missive

With several dotted postscripts

Was an era of unrequited love

Now I can swallow a toad

Pretend I am above, and far.



Combat Yogini


High up in the mountains,

She is learning the Ras Lila.



Often, on her way there,

She cries alone in a forest. 



A lost love laid down the path,

She knows no double-back.



Along came a guy de diplomat,

She later learnt was also trash.



Food, internet and a room, 

She asked for nothing more.



To mummy, papa and sister

She is a bad mother, a whore. 


Sneha Bhura is a Delhi-based journalist with The Week magazine. She has worked for publications like Open magazine, Mint Lounge and Fortune. Her first chapbook, Velvet Grapes: Drunk Midnight Poetry (Hawakal Publishers), was out in January 2021. Her most recent poems have been published in the Madras Courier, The Punch Magazine and The Chakkar.

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