Ghosha1 min read


Shweta Narayan
Resize text-+=

System error, Devi says
soft as incense
Titanium arms
(red with reflected silk
turmeric-daubed brass
gears machine oil slick, anointed
with drops of sesame)
of blessing.

Another child tugs
on a gold-edged sari, points high
at the bell

Father tends the smoking fire, the chants
camphor. I know software. He believes
in cell phones, supplicants,
— Mine. How do I tell him I searched
her code, found
a lexicon
and blank eternity?

I lift the child
from his mother’s shaking
hands. The brass bell
reflects us monstrous.
He pushes
giggles at the clang, coughs

Devi’s kohl-lined camera eyes whirr,
focus. System,
she tells me,

  • Shweta Narayan

    Shweta Narayan was smelted in India’s summer, quenched in the monsoon, wound up on words in Malaysia, and pointed westwards. She surfaced in Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, and Scotland before settling in California, where she lives on language, veggie tacos, and the internet at Shweta’s poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in places like Stone Telling, Mythic Delirium, and Jabberwocky, and her stories in the anthologies The Beastly Bride, Clockwork Phoenix 3, and Steam Powered. She was the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at the 2007 Clarion workshop.

Subscribe For Latest Updates

Be the first to learn about our new releases, open calls, and many activities.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
a white mask with the words apex magazine on it.
Support Apex Magazine on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!

Apex Magazine Ko-fi

$4 funds 50 words of Apex Magazine fiction!