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  • Writer's pictureGastropoda

aubade after migraine cluster by Leela Raj-Sankar

& amazingly, after four days spent veering desperately away from the light, there is still jazz playing in the kitchen. still dinner to make. still coffee to drink & a finch chirping

incessantly outside the window. strange how even after the world ends

it goes on, how it wobbles on bruised knees after crawling out of darkness

the opposite of purifying. how it holds its own hand. how it says

wake up. jazz is playing in the kitchen & there are vegetables

rotting on the counter. wake up. you are still responsible

for your own life. you cannot do anything but

drag yourself in from the cold. & i’m trying, i promise, to be grateful for

sameness more reassuring than unnerving, for beautiful, reliable patterns of

veering away & towards & away again. it’s just simple brain

chemistry: if i can endure the next five minutes i can endure

the next fifty years. i can endure the truth showing me its raw

underbelly, that after those four miserable days spent with a desert lodged in my skull,

the sun is rising & i can taste its golden sheen. even after the world ends

it goes on. even after the world ends it says: wake up. jazz is playing in the kitchen.

you are going to live.


Leela Raj-Sankar is an Indian-American teenager from Arizona. Their work has appeared in Stone of Madness Press, Ex/Post Magazine, and Ghost Heart Lit, among others. In his spare time, he enjoys playing board games and listening to Elliot Smith. Say hi to her on Twitter @sickgirlisms.

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