Adritanaya Tiwari

wednesday night family dinner

maa yells my name
her voice cutting through
layers of concrete and oblivion
maybe ignorance.
it's dinner time
three other people in this house
but only i show up
to a half dusty half clean
dining table
fit between two walls.
there is no pre/post-dinner conversation
nobody asks me how my day went
what was it like in college
what does it feel to be home after months
maa, would if she didn't know already.
there is no conversation
only noises in the background
some from the television
some from the neighbours
some from chit-chat over things that don't matter
i fail to differentiate between the three these days.
it all sails by like a paper boat in a puddle
until the rain drowns it into nothing.
'sobremesa' you say
i didn't know they had a word for
things i try to forget about,
like the wrongs in people, i share genes with.
i can't eat anymore,
i was never taught how to only why.
i can't eat anymore
so i scratch my spoon on stainless steel
nobody likes that sound
they notice the cutlery but not how less i've eaten.
the television shows up a break
three pairs of eyes turn to me
'how do you feel?' they ask.
like a paper boat melting away
in water and mud
run over by cars
torn apart and splattered around
in a filthy mess.
'it feels so good.' i say
finishing one last bite
and leave
i've never felt full anyway.


Adritanaya Tiwari is a dental intern from India. Her work has been in Nightingale and Sparrow magazine, Ayaskala, Esthesia magazine, and others.