“Fetish / Recluse” – Poetry by Rita Mookerjee

The Day After – Edvard Munch, 1895

“Fetish / Recluse” is one of two magically sensual & intoxicating poems by Rita Mookerjee in our Summer 2018 issue.

{ X }

considered how I confused lust with
a periscope. How intimacy was a seeing eye,
people’s faces in orgasm.

Through muscle memory, I learned to grab a bottle
from thin air. Since it only takes 21 days to make a habit
I hammered this magic in like ideology,
fists unsure what to make of sleep.

I dreamt of whiskey bottles with false bottoms
filled with index cards listing coping mechanisms
that I could call my own so I could stop
living as a caricature of myself.

Then sleeping alone started to feel like a victory
because I could pass out with wine in my mouth
a lump of gleaming brie on my nightstand
and for all my social inclinations, my time

in bed alone increased. I read the news and
considered myself lucky. I tucked corks into
jars around the house: awards for effective self-
medication. Smug quotidian trophies.

{ X }

RITA MOOKERJEE‘s poetry is featured or forthcoming in Hollow, Lavender Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Spider Mirror Journal, and others. Her critical work has been featured in the Routledge Companion of Literature and Food, The Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, and The Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory. She is a PhD candidate at Florida State University specializing in contemporary Caribbean literature.

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