8 days till the new moon
she bites into a cheeseburger without realizing there’s beef in it.
will it be the cane or the boot, this time, she palpitates.
she agrees to anything he says. she’ll change for him.
gets her atoms ready in the reactor.
“so what is the big deal if you forget to shave your legs? surely
the stubble won’t hurt as much in bed?” she can’t tell her friend
everything is always a big deal.
her eyebrows are dense forests, mixed with blood. he wants her
to wax them. they hide her acne. which he hates too.
who invented this torture device, the cellphone? the greyhound
takes four hours – houston to austin. he calls her an asshole for four hours.
she cannot hang up. the bus has to keep moving.
car dealerships are stressful for her. car lingo, sales jargon, he helps her negotiate.
hands the keys. in the car – he assaults her repeatedly, till a satisfied grunt escapes
his lips. and then he looks for the gps.
winter months. she hovers near the fridge. soup or candy bar?
a post-it is stuck to the handle. his neat writing – her weight on it. she steps back,
stumbles against the weighing scale by mistake. flees the kitchen.
he wants to get married. with a noose instead of a mangalsutra. she stays up,
writing pros and cons, like balancing an accounts ledger.
Anu Mahadev is a left-brained engineer turned right-brained poet based in the Greater New York region. She is a recent graduate of the MFA in Poetry program from Drew University and is a part-time editor for the Woman inc. Online and Jaggery Lit online. Her poems have been featured in the Olentangy Review, the Wild Word, (b)oink magazine, and are forthcoming in a few other journals.