Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Poems by Vaishnavi Nathan

Twenty questions

Why are we taught to give love and not receive love? Does this apply to girls
more than boys? Or is it just an Asian thing? What’s your favourite cereal? Still
the one you had when you were 6?
Do you think morality is universal or relative? Would you call the night after? If
no, please explain. Do you believe in God? Why do agnostics and atheists still
exclaim “oh my god”?
What does it take to block someone? Guilt or callousness? So, what do you
normally eat at home? Do you like your job? Are you willing to relocate? What
are you afraid of?
Milk or sugar for your coffee? Or both? Will your folks be happier if you made
more money? Do you brush your teeth before or after a shower? Would you
believe me if I told you there’s magic in the universe?
Do you ask yourself what you’re doing with your life? As if you knew? Does it
always, except sometimes, take you 2 weeks to call back? If you pick up after the
third ring, whom shall I say is calling?


Robert wears dark, worn-out shirts
To match his dark, worn-out vigor.
Robert eats all the bread at night.
Robert relates in a food related way.
You know this because
You used to drown a sleeve of Oreos
In a tall glass of milk
To meet validation at the bottom.
Mother surely knows.
Bones are homes.
Get acquainted with her rib bones,
Collarbones, hip bones and cheekbones.
Mother means well.
You mean well.
Robert means well.
Robert will deal with it tomorrow.

Vaishnavi Nathan is an art curator who uses language to explore the various mediums of arts and culture. Her work has been published or forthcoming in The Harpoon Review, Eunoia Review, Obscured and others. She holds a degree in Language and Intercultural Communication (French and Spanish) from University of South Australia, and is often a victim of disastrous vegan baking recipes.


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