Two Poems by Jhilam Chattaraj

Hampi, Karnataka

In Hampi,
streets are not interrupted
by delivery boys.

Apps are merely cosmetic.
Cyber rhizomes meld
into the antique sun.

Boulders rise from brambles —
quiet colossal remnants
of a jeweled empire.

Women — their hair,
heavy with the musk of jasmine
occupy smooth, winding roads.

Children wait for the school bus.
Men carry goats on bicycles.
Stones break into gods.

Everybody obeys to seasons of stillness.
There’s mercy in Hampi’s brick-red dust.
Faith fascinates life.



Once I saw papa
eat boiled papaya with bread —
raw, bland, edgy.

I could not fathom.
My teenage tongue
would not allow me to.

Now, I know.
Each day, after work,
anything edible is delectable.

Hunger is perhaps a burden.
A task to be settled
with the swiftness of fighter jets.

On days, when despair
creeps out of wrinkled bills,
I eat bread with mango pickle.

It’s late in the evening.
My fingers are fixed to the keyboard.
Sun storms erupt in my belly.

I order tandoori chicken,
lemon coriander soup,
and warm up last night’s tomato-rice.


Jhilam Chattaraj is an academic and poet based in Hyderabad, India. Her works have been published at Calyx, World Literature Today, Colorado Review, Asian Cha among others.

Two Poems by Seth Jani


Like everyone,
haunted by the past,
I hear the slipshod music
of a distant summer
loosening its bloodred grip,
easing-up, not on the heart,
but on the memory of itself,
until I’m left with the blur
of vanished faces
and the glittering, indistinct desires
prowling the fabled hall.



Even with time passing through
the jeweled carcass of summer
I still find myself
climbing the dim hillside
to take the moon into my hands,
that dark bread, which all my life,
has fed my longing,
has made my hunger shine.


Seth Jani lives in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( Their work has appeared in The American Poetry Journal, Chiron Review, Ghost City Review, Rust+Moth and Pretty Owl Poetry, among others. Their full-length collection, Night Fable, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2018. Visit them at