Sarah Ghoshal | The shooting of a tired engineer

For Srinivas Kuchibhotla, from India, who was shot in a bar by a man who yelled, ‘Get out of my country!’ before killing Kuchibhotla and injuring two others.

We are not separate. We move
in our world as partners,
aware only of our skin
when it creeps over itself
and around the corner of
tiny minds, looks in kind,
lonely bars in houses
far from the city center,
winter in Jersey and all
the men see one doesn’t
order, shovel, pay for,
undermine over time
the other because we
are two tall trees, not
birds and bees, not extra
fees, not overseas to get
far from that which hunts
us as others.

Here, we are the same.

Elsewhere, men like you
get shot for having black
mustaches and then, as his
face and his three days ago
smile stares at you from the
innards of enraged social media
rants, you feel your skin,
all of its color and wonder
and history and scent
and I hide in the bedroom
and take with me my worry,
my hurry, my want to assume
we all move in this world
as partners.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla cropped

Srinivas Kuchibhotla


Sarah Ghoshal, a poet, professor, mother, runner and feminist, earned her MFA from Long Island University in Brooklyn and has published two poetry chapbooks. Her work has been published in Red Savina Review, Cream City Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review and Whale Road Review, among others. or @sarahghoshal.


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