2 poems by Tejashree Murugan

Punk Noir Magazine

Haircut

How strange, tears turn into eyes, my love. In 

another part of the world, their lids turn into tea. The cool 

breeze keeps me awake; it sinks into my skin. Mother pulls it 

out of my mouth. My teeth clack together, like skipping stones. You think they are 

chattering. No thanks, I can weave a cloak of tresses around myself, I don’t need your 

jacket. My dear boy, when you have gold at your disposal, 

what use do you have for credit cards? I want my pliable body, 

my waterfalls of locks, to turn stiff and still, so 

I can climb up, higher and higher and dizzyingly higher, till I lay down 

on the moon and let the stars graze my cheeks. I’ll bring warmth into the night, 

I’ll be a flashlight up on high and bright. But daydreams spiral away, 

like smoke at the train station, and life chugs on forward. 

If it can’t take me far away, I don’t need it. Snip snap into the tub. 

(the sink wasn’t big enough)

When one thing goes, another takes its place. We are on a conveyor belt, 

we have climbed on top of the tower; we are the tower. Or are we the 

window, transparent at day, frilly curtains drawn at night? By a child’s 

hand. My hair went, as these things often do, and translucent wings 

took its place. I guess I’ll always have that weight on my back. At least 

it isn’t stones in my pocket. I glide into my dreams and you say, Rapunzel let down your hair

no more.

Only One Left Alive

Outside, the world burns /  I’m sitting here shelling peas and listening to static on the radio / the towers burned down / you see / and silence is a mosquito that can’t be slapped

There’s a flower I carry in my pocket all day / don’t ask me / I don’t know what kind / could be some sort of mutation / its petals are velvety skirts furled / around a maiden that blushes green, but it smells like / ash and tastes like a punch to the nose / I think I’ll stick with the peas

I imagine honey-drizzled ice cream and / painting my nails cotton-candy-pink / looking out the window and seeing floating / clouds thinking of stars laying down to rest on them / the sun changing the colour of my skin / the sound of laughter provoking more laughter / a chain reaction that doesn’t destroy the world

I found a diamond ring the other day / diamond is supposed to be the hardest / natural substance / so I tried to cut away my pain / with it / it didn’t work / so my pain is both unnatural and / strong / it doesn’t rain and it doesn’t pour anymore / but that sure is one hell of a sandstorm

I didn’t want to be a statistic / a notch on the wall / another day to mourn and / move on / I guess I got my wish / I will move on and / no one will be left to mourn me

Tejashree Murugan (she/her) is a writer and student of biotechnology at Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Her work has been published in LiveWire Magazine, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, The Aurora Journal, and The Soap Box Press, and is forthcoming in Ethel Zine and in:cite journal. Her art has appeared in Brave Voices Magazine. She is currently working on a novel about a group of time-travelling thieves. In her free time, she enjoys doing embroidery, reading about the Beats, and painting. You can find her on Twitter @earth2tj