Ambika Pachaury

If Only

1. A man floating on wood, running out of time.
2. Tomorrow, lived to tell the rest of them, “never go to the ocean!”: Never go to me.
3. He doesn’t believe. I am left alone.
4. The price of a life. The value of a voice. A misunderstood act. A rippling effect.
5. If only he knew, I was there too.

IMPRESSION: I have become what they thought I was. Rivers of tears define my body. My energy flows into a thunderous roar. Hope. I dream about a pirate ship that could stand and understand. Choice. I reach up to see if someone might be there. They do not know; it is I who is scared. Aphonic, not the result of tumor but something far worse: two words, a syllable each, none them which I can keep. On and on, up and down, no curves only lines. To die unloved and uncared for. I may be vast on the outside but inside, I feel very small. Often, I think about the man on the wood. If only I let him die. Yes. No. Maybe.


When she
puffs out her chest
for one last breath
I am no different than the rest.
Full to the brim with
selfish motives
baseless pride
the stray are for running over
the baby chicken I was saving
Just Died.

We value sleep more
shed a few tears
bury the sore.
Survival of the fittest
this kind of life
our own with shields of gold
other species bleed by the knife

What percentage
could I save anyway,
a visible proof.
My college essay was
the juice of a
rotting fruit.
What do we
live for anyway,
a wordless touch.
Your breath counts
Just As Much.

Ambika Pachaury is a first-year student in the College of Engineering at Boston University and comes from Delhi, India. Her work has never been published but you can usually find her writing poems in the park on days she is not dying with homework or talking on the phone with her sister Anushka.