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cities, by Ritoshree Chatterjee

i have gathered bits of skin and memory

and have packed myself in Tupperware

to a city whose name only birds have heard

at my hometown

in cities, of all the pieces that we dare to

call our own, some are tossed at gutters

when no one's watching—

and when ants forage on the plump

oranges we sucked dry—

we call them sinners

for once, they are mute, and so small

even infants can squish them

in cities, we change ourselves

like display lights at bars

hanging out the ones we think

the neighbours would like best

i, for instance, have worn so many

people and places on my collars,

i feel like a motley city spread open

but on nights when stars go out,

the breeze comes to a standstill, and

there is no more noise left to wear—

i open myself under streetlights,

and come out strangely empty.

multimedia image of face
POSE, by Greta McGee


Ritoshree Chatterjee hails from India and is pursuing her undergraduate degree in English literature. She writes in order to attain clarity—or the approximations of it. Her work has appeared in Café Dissensus (Issue 60), Madras Courier, The Punch Magazine (The Poetry Issue 2022), Outlook, LiveWire, The Chakkar, and the Joao Roque Review among others.


Greta McGee (she/her) is a Black American-Italian born and raised in New York City. Her multi-disciplinary creative works report on the body, spirit, and mind as they work together. She is a 2021 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Greta recently published her first work of fiction in Scoundrel Time.


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