the person you love is 72.8% water (Leela Raj-Sankar)

god says dance so you spin, round and round like

a marionette with its strings cut loose. god says eat so

morning after morning you lick runny yolk off

the kitchen knife. god says jump! and you don’t

want to ask how high but you do, over and over,

stuck in a dream you’re sure you don’t deserve, a dream where

fish fly and you, miraculously, are a believer, convinced

your own fingers belong to someone else when 

you reach down to kiss them. god says calm down, it’s just 

a mistranslation. god says breathe. god says get off your back; 

run run run like your bleeding feet are something still

owed to you. god says no one is fixing anyone else. god says

pretend it never happened. as if you aren’t just

a billion and a half chemical reactions. as if you and the sky

don’t have matching split lips. as if your throat isn’t endlessly, 

uncontrollably caustic. god says trust me, i’m rarely wrong. you say

well, neither am i. here is a list of things you know for certain: the average

human brain weighs about three pounds. your saliva

is slightly acidic. the person you love is 72.8% water. god is 72.8% water.


Leela Raj-Sankar is an Indian-American teenager from Arizona. Their work has appeared in Mixed Mag, Warning Lines, and Marias at Sampaguitas, among others. In his spare time, he enjoys playing board games and listening to Elliot Smith. Say hi to her on Twitter @sickgirlisms.


image: MM Kaufman