©2020 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Submerged” by Amelia Ao

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

the wordless stories i'm terrified of

Mythili Veshala

Winter 2020

If music were to make us:

rapid rests for the space between heartbeats,

80’s bass lines for the beat itself;

the fluent, buttery bellow of the prodigy’s violin

for the blood in someone’s veins,

then would my melody be sweet:

ethereal symphony of the forest’s instruments,

midnight and dripping moon;

or would I be a noise more terrible than silence:

mother losing her child,

father losing control.


If taste were to stitch our muscles and limbs together,

dew-covered orchards of apple,

coating her skin, since

she’s prided herself in being

adamant and sugary;

and caramel in his bones,

because of the weaknesses

he’s stuffed so far beneath,

it’s now in every cell of his body.


is my coffee-stained skin

littered with red crosses,

or am i simply waiting for the day,

when someone valid places their

candy lips beside my ear,

and tells me, in smooth, frosting words,

that i am accepted?


If smell were to tell our stories:

born to a shredded family

because of that pungent incense scent

clinging to the fabric of his shirt

from the times he’s prayed to god

until salted tear-tracks

are plotted oddly on his cheeks.

How about that lovely perfume her skin has grown fond of,

so the world grows green at the thought of

her luxurious, plush-pillows-and-beds-of-petal life,

but she grows sickened

by its constant wrenching into her face.

The scent goes so deep,

her throat feels raw.

My smell would be the rich wine scent of my mother’s words,

and the cool sea breeze scent of my father’s absence.


If touch were to illustrate our emotions:

upon his hearts a blanket of thorns,

when the door between his room and hers closes;

then silently unfolding on his skin, molten lava,

when the door is weaker than her sobs;

at his fingertips, this enchanting fire,

when he feels his thoughts,

catapulting from every strand of his hair,

breaking the walls.

I don’t know what I’ll feel like.

Perhaps the velvet texture of darkness,

there but not quite.


Yet when my eyes have shut,

and all the millions of universes

split open before me,

and I’m dreaming of what I’ll dream of,

dreaming of my scent and taste and melody,

I’m scared of the frown,

that has started to slumber upon my cracked lips,

so endearingly.

Mythili Veshalais an eighth grader at Greenwood High International School, Bangalore, India. She’ll never stop obsessing over anime, P.F. Chang’s desserts, and Coldplay when she’s not reading Cassandra Clare or writing.