Nikita Tilak


CN: Sex; relationships


We are side by side, hot bodies,
filled with bread, with wine,
sweet – and almost (not quite)

Our tummies muttered to each other while we slept,
one grumbles for me to
say it! Say it!

I lie my face into the sheets,
I look away, I cannot, I cannot.
Do not make me.

This city laughs, sloping, tipping us backwards and forwards and –
now pedals us furiously forward, it pedals us like it is testing us.

The bed rocks, I am a disarray in these sheets!

How can I possibly answer?

I peer through the holes in the sheets, I poke my finger through,
wiggle my thumb, wonder when we’ll all be done.

In the long hours of the day I dream of sleep.

At night this body presses itself into the sheets, sardine-like, streamlined.
I see your face at the bottom of the bed, eyes huge, shining, expecting –
say it! Say it! those eyes demand.

The chairs, bodies and faces in the museum alarmed me.
You explain; I retain nothing.

The words seep in and out of me.
I am a sieve in this big art room.
I am all full of holes.

Words run through the little cuts.
People talk and talk; fluff and stuff comes out of their mouths; it is like cotton, like dense cotton…

I struggle to make sense of anything.

The city teases me. This city is a whore and I have no courage to sleep with her, to caress her, to understand her.

There is no pleasure here.
only words, and words fall in and out like water.

The precious bits filter through the holes, collecting in a brilliant pool of something, somewhere –
but my vacant eye turns upwards;
I am there, I am the dregs that lie on top.

In the long hours of the day I dream of sleep.


Header image by Drew Shannon

One thought on “The Human Sieve

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