Anjali Chhabra

October 2020

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is What-Happened-To-Us-by-Anjali-Chhabra-Photo-by-Amr-ElMasry-560x1024.jpg
Photo credit: Amr ElMasry

What Happened To Us

By Anjali Chhabra

You and I stood
in a big bubble,
surrounded by white
tiles and invisible rubble.

The rubble had pieces
that we had scraped away
from souls tired & hollow
bruised in red, blue, and grey.

Mopped recently,
the gallery looked clean.
Bleached, disinfected
where tears had been.

There was one painting
framed and displayed.
Symbols strewn all over
Heart Diamond Club Spade.

I was standing too close,
drawn to
bright colored brush strokes.

While you stood too far,
patterns in details bizarre.

We were together,
yet far apart.

As the symbols in that painting
began to scream,
I saw our strings vanish
somewhere in between.

Edition XXXXI

Iris - by Anjali Chhabra (Photo by Aimee Vogelsang).jpgPhoto credit: Aimee Vogelsang


By Anjali Chhabra

Once upon a time
there was a little girl
with a name as soft as her playful twirl

Iris loved
to waltz around
in little circles like merry-go-round

This was never to last.
Little Iris haunted by demons from the past.

One was a witch.
Her name was Sorrow.
Decided Iris’ freewill was hers to borrow.

She tricked
Iris when fast asleep
and weaved her into a web of crimson deep.

From that day
Iris’ days became small,
punished with dreams and flashes of nightfall.

She looked up
for help from her kind friend Mr. Blue,
hopeful his skies would dissolve her crimson glue.

Young master Sun drew in
determined to play his part,
his bare hands burning the crimson strands apart.

Just then,
her pristine white chambers started to flood
with drops of water turning murkier with blood.

She slammed hard
those shutters to force the last drop out
which saved and squished her in equal bout.

[This poem imagines that the thin, circular structure in our eyes is a little girl named Iris, and the blood vessels that become more visible as we age represent a crimson web woven by a witch named Sorrow to trap Iris into this white chamber that we call our eyes, which blink and punish Iris with flashes of darkness and dreams. The act of staring to the sky and sun fills the eyes with tears, effectively flooding Iris’ chambers, and the only way she can survive is when the eyes blink – protecting and trapping her in the same act.]

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