[Issue 8 / February 2014]


There were bells attached to his name.
One for each whim. She heard them chime
beneath her tongue every time
it ran over her bruises. She remembers
the wetness of the day. Staccato of rain
on asbestos. The salt of her wounds.
The tang of pain.

Chimes struck spells. Each bell pulled. Each string
made her do different things.
Her wounds etched maps, secret paths.
The rituals of his worship. Days rolled like
thunder. Time struck no notes.

Until the day she scattered the bells,
a cascade of charms descending. And danced.
How she danced against the lime washed walls,
the puppet show of her past. Mad rain dance.
Frenzied totem dance.

She was the marionette cut loose.
The voodoo doll with its own
mind. Extended arms embracing
wild wind. Wild will. And
love was just blood flowing.
Tooth for bloody tooth.


RK Biswas is the author of Culling Mynahs and Crows, a novel of angst and anger,
delusion and disillusion, love and lust, mostly set in the Bengal of the ’80s. It is published
by Lifi Publications, India. Her poetry and fiction have been widely published in India and
abroad. She has won accolades for her work. Notably the first prize in the Anam Cara
Writer’s Retreat Short Story Competition 2012. Long listed in the Bridport Poetry Prize in
2006. A finalist in the Aestheica Creative Works Contest in 2010. Nominated for a Best of
the Net and Pushkart by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Two volumes of her short stories
are forthcoming in 2014, one from Lifi Publications and the other from Authorspress. She
blogs at http://www.rumjhumkbiswas.wordpress.com

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RK Biswas
RK Biswas is the author of "Culling Mynahs and Crows" (Lifi Publications, India) and "Breasts and Other Afflictions of Women" (Authorspress, India). Her third book “Immoderate Men” is forthcoming in October-November 2016 from Speaking Tiger Books, India. Her short fiction and poetry have been published worldwide. Notably in Asia Literary Review, Eclectica, Per Contra, Etchings, Markings, Pushing Out the Boat, Muse India, Out of Print, Nth Position, to name a few. She won second prize in the India Currents Katha Literary Fiction Prize for her story ‘It Comes from Uranus” in June 2016. Her novel was listed as one of the 20 most popular books published in 2014 by The Readers’Club, Delhi. In 2012 she won first prize in the Anam Cara Writer's Retreat Short Story Contest. Her poem "Bones" was a Pushcart Nominee from Cha: An Asian Literary Journal in 2010. Her poem "Cleavage" was long listed in the Bridport Poetry Prize in 2006 and also was a finalist in the Aesthetica Contest in 2010. Her story Ahalya's Valhalla was among Story South's Notable stories of the net in 2007.