Inside Dadiji’s Hands



The air is alive where I am, boundary layers of a new wound.


In geologic time my lover drives a vehicle through sudden fog, approaching the sea.

We are coagulating in the night, accosted by fire.

There is the negative pyramid approximated by elm branches, sodden

with summer rain and split from the trunk by tugging bovine teeth.

     A canister of liquid ignition.


This is the ritual where something is aided in its diminishing.


In one way of looking at it, I stitched a blessing into your finger

seeking to subtelize your ache. Make it visible,

     chronic and glowing sharp—


Together, we’re seeking words in our ancestral language to clot

around psychic wound, the physical bearing of history. To offer

these sounds back to the birds disappeared in the toxic rice fields.

In the mirror of their grief, we see our own throats swollen

     red with soundlessness.


It is miraculously some day, some day, some day, the scratch of water along an

embankment. The body’s escape and recovery from violence is not progressive, read:



More than invisibility, I’ve been wondering about the space

where pain is hassled into seclusion, its material location.

The kind of beta dialogue that demystified women’s labor, what women urge forth.


Benjamin wrote, ”History cannot be sought in the riverbed of a process of

development.” I can’t imagine the sound. Will it differ from this morning’s tone,

     cold as snow in the foothills?


Sometimes I am deliberately working to remain unreachable, recognizing that I will be

crossing a bridge until there’s no skin left on my feet.

Jhani/J F K Randhawa is a multidisciplinary artist, editor, and zine-maker. Their writing and performance have appeared, or are forthcoming, in outlets such as DoubleBlind Magazine, o bod, PRISM international, LA VAGUE, baest, TAGVVERK, The Mortuary, Thymele Arts, El Cid, and the Woolen Mill Gallery of the Wormfarm Institute, where J was an artist-in-residence in 2019. J is the recipient of a Yasmin Fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts, and their poetry collection Time Regime was longlisted for Radix Media’s Own Voices Chapbook Prize in 2020. They are co-founder and co-editor of rivulet, an experimental arts and print project.