I sit lifeless at the dinner table,
waiting for someone to notice a corpse,
untying bony fingers on its favourite dish.
Across the table,
father eats the loudest of us all,
carefully devouring all of our words
while mother chews on the spaces between them.
With every delicious syllable he feeds on,
the weight of a sentence,
stuck in our throats, grows heavier,
and we blame it on the rice.
The crunch of our names,
echoes from his slowly filling stomach,
like a distress call too faint to notice,
that grows fainter still.
To my right,
sister sits there, not eating anything at all.
We are an odd kingdom of 4,
and when the king finishes his meal,
we choke on the leftover punctuations
from his dessert.
- Harsh Anand