• Marías at Sampaguitas

Prose by Khushee Dogra

Learning to hold my tongue


My thoughts are transient but the feeling…it is perpetual. When I say perpetual, I mean like the screams outside my door. The ones that make me wish for my parents to get divorced. It’s okay. You know, okay like i want to slam a few doors and look at myself and see a huge disappointment; never enough. It’s like I am a three legged table, my fourth leg is my father’s validation. He can provide everything but not that.


My friend asked me one day, why am i always so warm...why do my hands look so familiar?

Familiar like the top of a pillowcase, how it is embedded with all her dreams, her tears and the taste of her brown tongue mixed with a handful of search parties sent out to bring back the comfort from her childhood home.


I refuse to be loved. I know what a train wreck it is. I have never been far sighted. I see now and the next five seconds. The longest five seconds when I sift through the walking heads, trying to claw the boy who just left. I have looked into the eyes of so many people, I know nothing makes sense to them. Loving someone is like stepping on the bunch of legos hoping it wouldn’t hurt.


My mother is a backrest. She stands tall for all of us. I sometimes fall back on her just to have another bounce to go a little higher. She is a trampoline. When i say trampoline, i also mean to say that she will always lift you up no matter how much she has to descend.


I feed my anxiety colors. I feed her the same four and a half minute song and a glass of tears while I sit crooked at the corner of my bed. I feed her a hope of ‘better days’...it is explosive, she knows hope is a fallacy. So, I feed her tarot card readings. She doesn’t know what it is but she sets her feet on the clutch and makes me drive in haste as if my aligned stars are waiting for her.


I hate horror movies and death but I like the horror of death that lingers near the ventilator. It feels like a halloween party. Trick or treat. Ashes, they look the embers from my funeral. Morbid, right? Rancid like the sewage pipes, like the food in the fridge from two days ago. How does it feel like to chumble on dead affection? You’re only alive till someone remembers you.


My sore throat is a concert of the most discordant artist, my lies. My voice is an eclipse. My feet are two sturdy tyres of a cycle. They walk in lockstep but never meet, never. When I said my lies, I meant all the hellos and goodbyes and everything in between them.

My thoughts are transient, the feeling...not so much.




Khushee Dogra (she/her) is a student by day and a wanna be connoisseur of art by night. Now, a published writer, you can find her performing theatre and spoken word in between the crevices of overwhelming audiences or practising her french accent behind the bookshelves. Catch her falling for a good poem and a seamless sky on Instagram @kaafikhushee.

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