An Elegy


It’s like this –
something inside you says,
shake hands with the ghosts of strangers.
Your body, gravid with warning.
You can’t help yourself.
We’re all descended from saints,
the nameless kind no one prays to.

It’s like this. Hard to breathe
with your face pressed
into the dark loose earth,
the ringing in your ears.
When your voice unravels,
breaks into pieces, let it.
You can’t help yourself.
When the shadows of trees
call your name, answer.



The Bicycle


One morning I wake to find I’ve turned into a bicycle. At work, people notice. They talk, the way people do. There is whispering in corridors as I wheel by, my pedals gleaming. I make out phrases like so much promise, and that’s what happens when. The upshot is, men find me irresistible, they cannot help riding me around the block, stroking my wheels, my derailleur, admiring the sleek line of my down shaft. How the other women envy me now, how I love to see myself reflected on the concave surface of their eyes. How they seek me out at office parties and ask for dating advice. And every Saturday morning a crowd of reporters gathers outside my apartment for a glimpse of my shiny titanium frame, my perfectly oiled chain.



Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.59.59 PMShivani Mehta was born in Mumbai and raised in Singapore.  She moved to New York to attend college and subsequently earned a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.  A recovering attorney, Shivani is the accomplished mother of toddler twins.  In exchange for a promise that they will never have to eat brussel sprouts, her children allow her to write prose poems whenever she likes.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including the North American ReviewMid-West Quarterly Reviewthe Laurel Review, to name a few.  Shivani’s first book a collection of prose poems entitled Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded, is out from Press 53.

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