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"What Scares A Mountain" by Tejaswinee Roychowdhury

I am a snow-capped mountain, my flesh—old Himalayan terrain. Weathering winds from the poles I lay barren—uprooting seeds before they can dream. Pablo Neruda’s nightmare, I am a snow-leopard clawing at man’s musky scent. A guarded fortress alchemizing silver into gold at dawn, my jagged crown and cannon balls keeping lovers—looters at bay. But when a lone wolf, torn from his pack, howls at the waning moon, the geometry of snowflakes reflecting in his deep brown eyes, I can hear my frozen heart thump. I twitch a little, dropping icicles on that veined thing I thought was long dead, attempting to kill it again, but instead, I feel a tinge of guilt when faultless cities scream into the night.

Tejaswinee is a Pushcart-nominated writer and poet from West Bengal, India. Founder of The Hooghly Review, she has/will have work published in Dreich Magazine, Setu Bilingual Magazine, Amity: Peace Poems (Hawakal, 2022), Muse India, Taco Bell Quarterly, The Unconventional Courier, Paddler Press, Misery Tourism, Roi Fainéant Press, Maw Poetry Magazine, and others. Tejaswinee is also a lawyer and can be found tweeting at @TejaswineeRC.

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