Archita Mittra is a wordsmith and visual artist with a love for all things vintage and darkly fantastical. She occasionally practises as a tarot card reader.
how to never grow up
- some children grow more than others. they climb bean stalks to castles in the clouds. they face their fears with wolves in their eyes
- there is a skeletal tree in front of my house. in summers, she likes to wear a red polka-dotted green scarf with ravens and eagles in her hair.
- i wake up this morning and my tree isn’t there. i see sky, telephone wire & mud-stained leaf but no tree. like it never even existed.
- my parents keep telling me to grow up but i’m not tall enough to reach the sky anyway. (sometimes i fear i’ll never be tall enough)
- some things grow faster than others. my shadow has a heart of her own. she has grown so long tonight i’m sure she can swallow me up.
- in mirrors, i still look like myself. not a day older or younger or less lonelier ( but i’ve never liked my mirror-self much. she’s too strange & dream-eyed to play with)
- some children do not grow at all. instead they burrow in the dark forest of childhood like desperate rabbits;
the old winds rattle your bones.
you cast the cards by owl light
& stuttering candle flame. somewhere,
in a distant country, he is
a lightning-struck tower,
like first snow.
perhaps you have read the cards wrong
again. roses, sometimes, bloom
out of season. postcards return before
they’re even written. perhaps
it is one of those nights
that taste like yesterday’s midsummer sky.
(you still remember lying
on sun-blistered floor; the sunbird
silhouetted in the sky- an old
promise come to life
dying like mayflies or drowned child-brides)