Sunita S. Mukhi

Contributor Biography

Sunita S. Mukhi is a theater/film/performance artist, writer, cultural programs curator, and interdisciplinary scholartist. She writes and performs her poetry, stories, monologues that espouse the redemptive power of the arts with dynamic women as central characters. Of Sindhi Hindu origin but born and bred in the Philippines, and thrived in the USA for 30 years, she continues her curatorial work, arts advocacy and practice as the Artistic Director of DeviDiva Productions.

BOTH BEAUTIFUL

You regarded me seriously
As I did you
And you said it first about me
What I had in my mind
About you

That you are—
we are both 
Beautiful

Even now
You are a beauty
Draped in pink silk
While we in sad rags
Pine for your moon

We weep
Gather around you
Sing odd songs between sobs
With our sloppy voices

We are small 
While you are as always
Larger than life
And so full of it

You had been leaving for some time
Intermittently present
To give us some small bright hope
You were merely doing us a favor

So come close
Be with us
We won’t forget, promise
We can’t ever forget

Then you sneak up on us
So we can float on a 
froth of dreams
With you in it.

You coyly take a peek
And swaddle us
In the glow of your largesse.


LICKING LEMONS

I.

Licking lemons to hold
your resentment of me down
You do not like me very much
Because I did not jump for joy
When I saw you were alive

Holding on to dear life
You summon all my resources
To your site of survival
Making me dizzy and groggy

I sleep to forget
You leave me alone, please
I am bigger than you
But being migrant so long
Leaves me weak.


II.     

 

I do not miss the taste of lemons
The bitterness and smell of your domination
But, if you decide to occupy me again
To choose me as your port of arrival
I will see us through
And lick those damn lemons
So we both can live together
Maybe even fall in love
And become a family.

Tan E-Reng

Contributor Biography

Tan E-Reng is an avid fan of cramming the twenty-six letters of the alphabet into the tin can he calls his brain, adding a dash of synthesizer music (don’t ask), and shaking the whole thing back and forth until something pretty (hopefully) falls out. He is also incredibly unused to writing in the third person and has no idea how to conclude a biography properly. He also likes cats.

DANUBE
 

Hold space. A grass field littered with wheelbarrows. Rusted taps. Tub. Cold nails. Skin blue. Black. Blue-black of night. Eyes in the pines. Deep purple water. Pond. Pool. A bubble among most. Ouroboros bottled. A recess. Day-faded yellow. Yelling down the empty hall. Paint stains on pipes. Red. Bokehed beige. Bind. Yearbook. Book, of you. Tar. Tile the wrong colour. Tie, red. The matte of the blackboard. The score. The countdown to the final exam. The parade. The second floor. All the wrong classrooms. Eyes on me. Teacher scowls. Time to leave. Ranks. Writing. The sky on fire. Zinc green roofs. Rain at 4.27. Papers. Leave them for later. The lame tide. The lake. The strip mall. Fired in flight. Light. A hand emptied of you. Youths. You. In the main square. Where they make bread and water. For the spouts. The plaza. The place with the horses. The horns. The buzzing. A child lost in the intercom. The pines. The heels on marble. An alarm. A lockdown. False alarm. Intrusions nonetheless. Seventy-eight. Where we called home. The old horseshoe. Gaps in the colonial plaster. Old steps. Grey. Green with vomit. Turn your head. Hear. Everything has changed. The clang of coffee shop cutlery. A brain. An eye closing its shutters. “Computer!” I was five. The elevators go sideways in Sentosa. I had not yet spoiled my eyes. But the black car was already waiting for me outside.