The first time I saw a dead body was at my great-grandmother’s funeral
The second time I saw a corpse was in the Basilica of Bom Jesus
and both times I was drowning in fluorescence, completely and wholly swallowed by an alien spaceship (a UFO, if you will) and here I was mutilating cows
Cutting out, making bloodless excisions, and pickling their tongues
A surplus killing for Chick-Fil-A to cluck cluck Eat More Chikin cluck
The first time I saw a woman’s carcass was two days after my 11th birthday “Indians Outraged Over Rape on Moving Bus in New Delhi” “Delhi Gang-Rape Victim Gets Symbolic Name ‘Damini’”
I care for the crematorium inside me. The British Museum drains 6,000 carnages Female dancer figure (hula position?) made of wood, pearl-shell, teeth (human?), hair.
Talking stains paneless windows with cryless births, ripping calluses on monkey bars Clinging onto curated chemicals, clawing at the frosted glass. Scratches across Gods’ domains
Sacrificial rites feel like hair glued on my tongue, orient the body as a non-fatal injury Memorial to deceased (carried by relatives) made of human skull (female ?), red ochre, shells, cord.
I moult my skin until I become a bog body, until I can naturally mummify the artificial A bowl embedded with human teeth reaches an infertile seabed of touching yourself and living forever
My final resting place will be the In-N-Out drive-thru in the great death pit. Search for me and my naked body. My name is #53. The perforations in my cranium smell like the Not-So-Secret Menu.
Sink the next of kin into toxic yellow mustard, open arms to embalming entrails to give birth 23 skull fragments and 33 bones/bone fragments of human baby - female aged under 5 months
I caught up to 22 years of emissions and next year you won’t be 23 you will remain a rough edge remain a lion muffled by the exhaust of a factory churning out & gift-wrapping fragments of your skin.
Nivi Nimmagadda is an Indian American writer from Durham. She holds a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University (and never fails to mention that she also double majored in Creative Writing). She is currently obsessed with Starbucks cake pops and collecting college dad hats (so far she has Duke, UMass Amherst, and Emory). She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @nivinimm.