Anannya Uberoi (she/her) is a full-time software engineer and part-time tea connoisseur based in Madrid. She previously won Ayaskala Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Writing Month challenge, and was nominated for Best of Net in 2020. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bangalore Review, The Loch Raven Review, Deep Wild Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, and Lapis Lazuli. She spends her Sundays in tearooms working as a columnist for The Remnant Archive.
After colors have flowered,
embryos woven shapes,
and cemented rocks forced into the running rill;
after wild woodlands have returned,
townhalls of cities atomized,
and yearling whales resurfaced upon water lines;
after peafowls have cried at nightfall,
the nerve of hearts cracked fences,
and seasons and mistakes slow-rusted
to autumn coffee;
after bottled peanuts have tasted fire,
barbed wires melted in softer summers,
and fledglings fled to leather forests
of amniotic joy,
after oaks have hunkered for gifts of beargrass,
apple trees basketed their first fruit,
and dreamers back in their humanoid forms
with flowing wine for lips and bluets for eyes –
reserve your art for the earth alone.
In Every Nook and Cranny
Bowed, handheld floret against a dusk of posies –
flowers knotted in a mesh of green stems
kissing tastefully for the camera.
Flowers strung upon strings,
stretched into smiles
and curves of scalloped collars,
clamped to sleeves,
neatly tucked in shirt pockets
and sinfully handed to secret lovers in the metropolis.
Flowers racing each other in bicycle baskets,
twirling about in full ballgowns,
flying in winds of whistles and cheer,
presented in poems of windswept romance,
with every gesture of human emotion.
Flowers coaxing hearts into dreaming up callow lovers,
creaming the crevices of dying men
and damaged dreams.
Mistake after mistake, flowers
floundering with steps on heavy snow,
ignored on parched pavements,
baked on sunny mornings
in mailboxes of forgetful grandmothers.
A Lesson in Cooking
Make your kitchen paint
your food for you –
color-block the wall into
dark eastern spices,
the white of apples
and potatoes beside them.
Make room for the in-betweens –
and yogurt-dipped moss.
Thrust open your kitchen window
with your dainty hands,
caramelize American harmony;
let it waft out
to other homes.
A medium-high heat is
sometimes necessary to
will run the snow off mushrooms
and roast them golden-brown.
Arabica beans will be creamed
in organic milk. Roses and meat
will dissolve in the flurried boil of the same bowl.
When the cooker whistles,
measure its soft plaintive smoke.
It is saying something.
Do not be restless with the stove,
let it simmer. Let it sit.
Take up a class in chemistry to see
how compounds are born out of
singular flavors, learn language to read
There is a time for
briny lumps and delicately cut
melon seeds, for crème caramel
and an intimate goddess
of strained yellow dawn –
these are all unstrung delicious pleasures,
all extraordinary dust.