Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

Annie and Norah Drinking Coffee During the Year You Were Born

The moment a man uses a woman’s sex to discredit her arguments, the thoughtful reader knows that he is unable to answer the arguments themselves. 
— Annie Besant, Annie Besant: An Autobiography

In a room full of people, the cutlery trolleys
are dancing around the tables and everyone
is late for lunch. The soup is cold, and we have
forgotten what the angels eat if they prefer to eat
at all. Here, we do not swallow our words
with sweetened coffees served in broken china. 

You tell me that half an apple is usually more
than enough for you. To live on, we agree
we must conquer the notions of hunger,
sleep and sunlight for we could be too spoilt
with their bounty. And before we die, we must
run the epitaphs on our tombs with each other.

Rest Weary Heart—Thy Work is Done, is what
I propose. She Tried to Follow Truth, is what you add.
We promised to take dying seriously as it is easy
to forego the dead who are outliers in this gentry
of sexes. In our Republic of Shame, our lives
are all we have in the name of moral economy.

SUPRIYA KAUR DHALIWAL was born in Palampur, India. She was this year’s Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at the University of Kent, and her debut collection The Yak Dilemma is out now with Makina Books, London.