By Anukriti Yadav

On open rooftops by humming water tanks
in the slow burning minutes after sunset, 
you pause. Take stock of a dying day. 
By the fruit stall at the local vendor’s
you look out the open door
box of seasonal strawberries in hand. 
On the walk back home from evening classes, 
the taste of berry popsicle on your parched tongue, 
you look up at the pink sky. It is funny how 
you learned to weed out early on 
that color that was too feminine
to ever be taken seriously.  
Yet, the web-footed geckos, roseate spoonbills, 
pygmy seahorses, pink axolotls, amazon dolphins, 
sea anemones and orchid mantises—
in their knowing zen stances—
all disagree. 

And what of the periwinkles in your balcony
overlooking bountiful bougainvilleas on the busy street
the cherry blossoms awaited all year, 
the blooming magnolias in late spring? 
There is also the frown you wear looking
at finished laundry forgotten to 
be separated in the wash. The reds,
quiet naturally, bleeding into the whites. 
Baby blanket and ballet shoes cackling with delight. 
Afterwards, the color of blood just under the skin 
on your cold palms when you scrub them 
raw as raisins, trying 
in vain to smother 
a natural existence from the world.

The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric phenomenon, the pinkish glow that surrounds an observer shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset.

Anukriti (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.

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