by kiran bassi

old age left you peeled open, vulnerable like

an orange abandoned on a fruit-fly laden counter. 

even without the dark spell, your hourglass was smooth, dry

no longer heavy with sand. 

there was no time cut short. no injustice of a wasted life. 

the blackout threaded old age’s knife through your fragile ribs

and august heat twisted it till it tore muscle and shattered bone.

it happened slowly, then all at once.

The sizzle of fluorescent lights; like meat on a frying pan. 

a quiet click as you lost your breath.

 I watched the dark tear at your throat with visceral pleasure.

I heard it swallow your receding hum; a far-faltering tide with no tsunami at the end.

august heat tore through the mesh over the back door

and went straight for your neck; an uninvited neighbor,

a forceful guest. my stomach churned for:

 the milk, 

beginning to sour in your shelf. the fish, 

already rotting in its grocery-bag shroud. your rusted doors, 

creaking shut for the final time.

“you had a good run,” they said, dragging you out.

they heaped your contents in the compost bin: 

a half-drained bottle of milk, one styrofoam carton of worm-ridden fish. 

there was nothing to mourn. 

you lived to the beginning of the end.

a textbook case of a perfect lifespan. 

a death timely as death can be.


author’s notes

this really did start off as being about a fridge. and then I edited it (A LOT. ) and it sort of ended up more personal. I’m glad I ventured out of my comfort zone and wrote a poem. Its definitely a weak spot of mine and I’ve been meaning to get better with them.

huge huge HUGE thanks to zach and ishi for the support and help editing, I love and appreciate y’all ❤

Any constructive criticism would be amazing and greatly appreciated. Send it over to

ps. Mom, Dad, if you’re reading this, there’s nothing wrong with the fridge. promise.

dedicated to rocket- may 2010- December 08, 2020. I love and miss you always. :’)

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