Illustration: photo of brain coral digitally manipulated to resemble golden-brown planet spinning out stars, or egg in nest


I focus on a tree,
Will myself to become it.

Lushness branching out of my chest
A deep brown centre nestling lives within
Feet planted in red earth

I breathe in and out,
Listening for the sound of sprouting inside me,
When a sparrow looks me in the eye
And I know I’ve got it all wrong.

I must stand up straight.

Ankita Anand’s writing has travelled through India, Pakistan, Singapore, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the US, Germany and the UK. She is also a journalist, and her work has been supported and awarded by multiple fellowships and awards in India and outside.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

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