Loneliness Is a Half-eaten Energy Bar

-Ankur Animesh Surin

The half-eaten energy bar 
peeks at me when I 
open the fridge 
at night.

Cold escapes in a wooly flight,
disappears around my ankle.

I could have sworn it swirled 
an anklet around, 
tying my fate to the bar,
before disappearing in search of shadows 
in my LED-flushed room.

Domestic adventures that last 
less than two minutes 
deserve no post-it mentions 
on refrigerators, so
I take time and care 
to boil my noodles 
— self-love doesn’t conquer carbs.

The cool of darkness is reassuring.
A room bereft of memories
is a sore sight. 
My eyelids scrape off what remains of 
the emptiness lit 
by nosy street lamps projecting 
silhouettes of restless mosquitoes.

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Ankur is a cinephile, photographer, and writer-editor. He loves Asian cinema and swears by Tsui Hark and Johnnie To. He is working on a fantasy novel.

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The poem appeared in Pop the Culture Pill’s April Special Issue. Read it here.

Numb Nights

-Samira Ahsan

I don’t know if it makes sense

To damage someone beyond repair

And put them on the fence.

I wonder if anyone can hear

The screams; fading echoes

louder than night waves

sharper than a prey’s fear.

Yelling in the pillow –

yearning to be expressed

But nothing.

Just failure.

If you can hear the howls I swallow,

Show me a way of life to follow

I sleep and sleep away my pain

But it’s always there when I awaken.

When you ask me why I don’t want to fall asleep,

It’s only because I have to wake up and

build myself all over again.

So far, I do, eager to free this chain

I sleep to escape, wake up to remain

Yet nothing.

All in vain.

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A nocturnal being, Samira studies Architecture and Design. She is a professional over thinker and a part-time procrastinator filling blank pages with contemplation. She is quite fast at typing messages but never picks up phone calls. You can reach Samira at samiraahsan20@gmail.com

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The poem appeared in the April 2021 Issue of Pop the Culture Pill. Read the complete issue now!