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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019

Salil Chaturvedi
Goa, India

Less alone

The shifting dampness on the wall is a residue of this year’s monsoon. The patch started about a foot above the header of the door, spreading downward along the casing, widening out a little and then narrowing and stopping short a few inches above the floor.

A couple of weeks ago it developed two enormous eye sockets and a faint low-hanging jaw, almost down to where its waist ought to have been. Another week and a hint of a nose appears somewhere mid-way. Then in a day it suddenly morphs into the head of a lizard. Within a few more days it has turned into a scuttle fish; the patch evolves with its own logic.

On nights when the moonlight streams into the room through the roof skylight, it appears to be a large cone-headed being leaning against the door. I feel a little less alone. In the daytime, though, it flattens out, leaving only a dim outline. It's as if a tall person with slender shoulders has walked through the wall and is waiting among the bricks to reappear.

inside a curled leaf
the cocoon shifts



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