Rita Mookerjee

Nightmare Bhajan

There are ghosts on my back legion spiny and dark-skinned, crimson-skinned, light-skinned smeary bindis and gold anklets

they roll across my bones to remind me

your nani died your dadi died you did nothing but cringe at a kiss you blocked their odd bodies from your mind suffered them only once we will remind you

tablas in the night the bansuri wail

nothing compares to your selfishness nothing saved your mother her grief the twenty-one years between her hands and nani’s atone.

Rita Mookerjee's poetry is forthcoming in Lavender Review, Sorority Mansion Review, and Spider Mirror Journal. Her critical work has been featured in the Routledge Companion of Literature and Food, the Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, and the Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory. She currently teaches ethnic minority fiction and women's literature at Florida State University where she is a PhD candidate specializing in contemporary Caribbean literature with a focus on queer theory. Her current research deals with the fiction of Edwidge Danticat.

Recent Posts

See All

Sam Bickford

RIP MEEG <3 —and seasons don’t change but bleed through each other—and being in bed is a laxative for risk—and he didn’t sleep—and I try to place that last phone call— and his gravel pitch shifted th

Laura Ohlmann

Wellspring I pour Mom a bath of oatmeal suds and keep my forearm submerged to judge what is too hot and what will soothe her. She needs help taking a bath now. I undress her, the way she once held my

Abigail Swoboda

Video Store Guillotine After the razor nicks the back of my neck, I pet the wound for the rest of the week & I google “horror movie heroine” because I want to be hot as in un-murderable— as in big swe