Kavi Kshiraj

Constructed Grief

i pick my teeth out, fingers stained red and tongue 
skating over empty gaps; practice speech sitting 
cross-legged on a bathroom floor, rot resting
at the back of my throat and winter wrapping 
corrosive hands around bare skin. if i try hard
enough, could i hew the personhood from myself and 
drag it spooled shapeless, luminous down the streets 
of a ruined city like the split-throat corpse of hector — 
if i cast myself as achilles, then who do i grieve? 

who spilled the right into my organs, into 

the open space of my stomach? i attempt to hollow 
myself out, but there is only bone and soft flesh, and 
winter covers my mouth when i ask for forgiveness. 
winter catches my spine with a claw when i beg
permission, and want bleeds cold, bright out of me. 
just let me stand:  i toss a bag of uprooted 
teeth into a black-watered pier and turn my back. 
winter drives me away with a lifeless body tracking 
behind us. don’t undo it, this once.

"Ars Poetica: Open Composition" by RL Wheeler

Kavi Kshiraj is a queer, Indo-American poet found in New Jersey. They spend time on hobbies such as writing, D&D, and their various identity crises.