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1 poem
by Urvi Kumbhat

Urvi Kumbhat is an MFA candidate in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers' Program. Her work has been published in The Margins, Protean Magazine, Cherry Tree, and other publications. She grew up in Calcutta. 

Golden Shovel Sonnet with Excess


after Momina Mela

A famous YouTube minimalist laboriously peels labels off her condiment jars. My

utter disbelief at her commitment to blankness. Gargling language in my throat

for days before I expel it in swollen tides, I wonder how it would feel, to be infected

with the less-ness of life, to excise excess with such precision, to be bewitched by

austerity. One of minimalism’s expressed purposes is the simplification of living, the

surfeit of time that surely must appear when you own fewer things. My thick-tongued

addiction to sentences betrays my own volubility, how I gleefully shatter each promise

of less I make to myself, gorge myself on names and beloved sounds and objects, each

word bursting with the more it could be: hasrat, bewilder, pelvis, decompose. How each night

would appear smaller if spent scrubbing sticky adhesive off glass, those records diluted

to cavity. How would I check expiry dates? Would I know when pickles lapse into

something vile, vinegar defiling the mango carcasses—would I have to rely only on its

stench, on my rancid tongue, on the opening knowledge of my body, sense that exists prior

to self. Or maybe, I will eat something rotten, at last, and have no words—only a full belly.

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