Water Feet by Paridhi Poddar

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa

I have got two feet, 

flat like that of my father, not at all ladylike. 

Aquarius feet, they dangle by the edge of the lake. 

It is sacred feet on some days, 

worshiped during puja, 

they wash my feet with cold water, 

clean my toes, bend and touch my feet,

a Goddess’ feet, they say. 

Trim the nails, put on toe rings, 

try to make it pretty until they start retaining water, 

become swollen once every month,

these feet should never enter the kitchen 

at least till three days. 

They tell me that the 

swelling and the bleeding shall stop soon;

all of it shall soon go back to normal.  

But tonight, I am restless.  

I entered home with a goddess’ feet that 

metamorphose into something unnatural. 

My feet ache like they have never before, 

the soles are disintegrating before curling, 

dissolving and unwinding into something clearly not feet, 

and I hope to swim away never to return, 

never to trace back my steps.

Paridhi Poddar (she/her) is an eighteen-year-old writer and student from Kolkata, India. Her work has previously appeared in Ayaskala, orangepeel, Zine for Her, Pop the Culture Pill, and elsewhere.

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