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2 poems by Ahana Banerji


I lie in bed, waiting for you – 

pressing oil 

under my right wrist, 

over orphaned petechiae, 

into the reddish band below my breasts –

I am trying to define these lines 

between buying violets for a date 

and eyeing tulips on the bedside – 


Remember those kids who called us fags? 

Fear fell from them like milk teeth!

Those little petrol-stink apostles make me 

wonder if confessing me to you

would steward the sea, dam the moat,

unpool the bruise between us – 

But you are not God. I am still not well.

And I lie in bed, waiting for you – 

Meditations from an Unfamiliar Floor

These walls don’t sink.

Something has been ripped from this doorframe

and it was probably Pulp Fiction.

I spider myself

into one too many corners.

I have known more than my own

but I do not own it well. These walls

upset themselves like glasses

of water in the night. I become into window-

box. The small carnation of my breast

shudders white and fingernail.

I could turn against even November for light.

I’m as safe looking in as out,

ignoring myself into carpet. These walls

will know me over and over

before the gentle keeping of these little hours.


Ahana Banerji is an undergraduate student reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge. She is a three-time Foyle Young Poet and was long-listed for the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize in 2022, judged by Billy Collins. At eighteen, she was the youngest shortlisted poet for the White Review Poet’s Prize in 2022.


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