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Illustration by Shir Ariya

by Eshna Sharma

It was the year of fog 

the jagged cogwheels of the

world sputtered and 

spat out 


and sputum 

time became a yawning 

wound, infecting 

and reinfecting 

thoroughfares began to 


My room, like many rooms

became a tomb for all 

my shedded selves, 

like snakeskins crunching under

my feet, 

little parts of me that 

the fog ate away 

I think of geologic timescales. 

All this we hold dear, the 

obscene, the anthropocene—palm

oil plantations, our advances

in neurosurgery, proxy wars, 

childbirth and surrogacy— all

condensed into inch thick sheets of

sediment and shale 

Outside my window, 

The year of fog, the ghost 


dissipates slowly, corrosive

It smells of rot 

smells of loneliness, 

if loneliness could ever 

have a smell, but 

the earth did not shiver,

did not spin off its own axis 

Maybe in some future age, 

when the seas recede and cleave open

the salted, bone-white gullets of our


Maybe some alien pincer 

would come to know of 

this age of plastic and plasticine

would bellow and guffaw 

at the year of fog

Eshna Sharma is an eighteen-year old poet and writer from Lucknow, India.

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