Partition

by Carolina Hotchandani

Featured Art: Fissure, by John Schriner


In your version of the story, people butter their fingers 

with notions of God, splitting India into a smaller India, 

a new Pakistan. The way a single roti’s dough 

is pulled apart, the new spheres, rolled in the palms, 

then flattened. The idea of God—the destroyer of human bonds, 

you will say in the diatribe I know well—the reason for new 

borders, new pain to sprout on either side of a dividing line. 

You’ll go on. I’ll picture the edges of your words blurring 

to a hum as I think of how to wrest your rant from you. 

A rolling pin barrels over dough, widens the soft disc, 

makes it fine. You are fragile. Like a story that stretches 

belief. Like a nation. Like a thin disc of dough that sticks 

to a surface, tearing when it’s peeled back. I don’t know 

how to part the story from the person and keep the person.


Carolina Hotchandani is a poet and Goodrich Assistant Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she teaches courses on literature, writing, and the medical humanities. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNIAlaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry JournalCincinnati ReviewThe Journal, Missouri Review (poem of the week), Plume, Prairie SchoonerWest Branch, and other journals. She received the Rona Jaffe scholarship to attend the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2021 and was a Pushcart nominee in 2017. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and daughter.

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