Panopticon Triptych

Most of the time I think someone’s watching, no,

that I am watched, in airport interrogation rooms

where they ask for my country and only then

my name, in chatrooms where I answer

to lonely men and the bridges that love them,

in my bedroom where I drag myself

to the mirror and watch flies tear at my reflection—


be quiet. no one is watching but you. you are

in a green, dark clearing, the trees dripping ice

onto your forehead. you sweat you money

you useful you can sit here. you can watch

it all gray out, watch the crows converge

from the rafters and fight for scraps,

moneying your lawn with blood.


I’ve been trying lately to free everything

I can. Fish fly into the ocean; a stray dog

frays through her forgotten collar; girls disappear

into their dark bedrooms. I wonder what would happen

if I traced the cage back to its origins— midnights

thumbing the inside of my lip, glass screens

blinking soft and blue and blue

Gaia Rajan lives in Andover, MA. She’s the cofounder of the WOC Speak Reading Series, the Junior Journal Editor for Half Mystic, the Web Manager for Honey Literary, the Managing Editor of The Courant, and the Poetry Editor of Saffron Literary. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Muzzle Magazine, DIALOGIST, Split Lip Magazine, diode, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, ‘Moth Funerals,’ is out now from Glass Poetry Press, and she is a National Student Poet semifinalist. She is sixteen years old, and tweets @gaia_writes.