Viplav Saini



My earliest memory is letting go of a white ceramic mug (the kind favored by wedding caterers in India in the eighties) and watching it fall one story to crash on the cement floor of the family that lived below us. I remember being aware that I was only a child and would not be held responsible.




the first marriage always breaks—


expose the fault line, glut the fracture with gold


lacquer from lac, from Sanskrit

meaning many, or resin

secreted sap or gum


gham from Urdu

meaning sorrow

like grief


chin meets floor


the jaw unsettles


skin meets chin—



the seam shimmers

to gilded fractal


bowl meets floor


the mind unclenches


the whole


the pattern holds


where does it


hurt    here


the shatter




Found In Volume 51, No. 01
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Viplav Saini
About the Author
Viplav Saini teaches economics at New York University. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Southern Review, and Massachusettes Review.