about the author

Tushar Jain is an Indian poet, playwright, and author. He was the winner of the Srinivas Rayaprol Poetry Prize, 2012 and a winner of the Poetry with Prakriti Prize, 2013. Subsequently, he won the RL Poetry Award, 2014. He was a winner of the DWL Short Story Contest 2014 for his short story “A humiliating day for [Dr.] Balachander.” He won the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing, 2016. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Antiserious, The Nervous Breakdown, RædLeaf Poetry, Papercuts Magazine, streetcake magazine, The Sierra Nevada Review, Young Ravens Literary Review, and elsewhere.


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Two Poems

Tushar Jain



night

at
         night

    girls   climb out
    of his   pillow

he   watches
as the y crawl   out

w   al k

to    the     cupboard

sit inside

close   its
doors

he tries
to   chase
a girl
can
      not
he has
      two left feet
and
      arms left two

tonight

  he
    climbs
           down
                 the
                    pillow
(-badmove)
the pillow
melts
in t
    o
t   he
  s h ee    t

the boy

           is

         agrl
in                    a
cupboard
           in         the
           pillow



school

he

removes

his   f i n g e r s

before
he
enters


setting
down
the
           pen,
he suggests
each
   child
peel
away an   ear


they
   do
he
   nods


turning to
             the board,
       he
          d r a w s    a

                          c
                     e         i
                     l          r
                          c

with the chalk
betweenhisteeth


children giggle; children will be chi-


he eats the chalk
the children copy
the circle on clean
white sheets

he removes   his shirt
then his skin


a child toddles
                       to the win-
                               -dow
     to open it
     is
     pulled
     o ut

  by seventy three
  hands

     (yellowgreenstrawberryredcinnamonbrow—‘it is C6H12O6, not C12H6O6’)
  boys rush

               to

 close            the window


 it doesn’t
                    close

                       the teacher   is
                removing
                      his
        bon    e   s





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