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Faceless Figures

Khushi Daryani

New Delhi, India

Amity International School


CAS for Database

everyone smiles in this city 
faces melt into colours at subway stations 
cities transform into mirrors that reflect light 
the buses change morning to evening 

everyday, the paperboy throws syllables at the doorsteps 
mundane affairs roll off the tongues of civilians     nothing that isn’t forgotten 
                                                                                                            over the morning tea 
everyone smiles in this city. 
they peel off like paint on a wet bench. 
sometimes there’s too much of them 
on your arms. elbows. fingertips. 
strangers pass you by when the clouds are about to swallow the sun and the kids return home
because their mothers are worried sick. 
                                                                                      but in my dream, we’re faceless people. 
we drift along the wind and sometimes we tumble down a rabbit hole 
instead of faces we have clocks attached to our necks and they stop each time we talk 
the sky turns pink and the clouds fall down on the pedestal for the passersby to notice 
we noticed it first because, well, 
we’re faceless people we tumble, and stumble, and we rumble incoherently 
but we have nothing to say. 
we’re quiet but I noticed a conversation tangled in my hair 
I trip over your sentences and lose my way when I look around. 
I’m a pity poem playing on a party piano in the path of a pretty pavement. 
                                              my favourite past time is picturing us as perfect paper people
primarily playful and particularly peculiar 

everyone smiles in this city. 
when the sun’s out they trace shoulders on idle shadows of them 
                                                which grow and grow 
                                                                                   and hide inside nests at night 
we’re timely bodies and our words get stuck in our throats so often that they bleed
through our fingertips
they’re all over the sidewalk 
on every stranger’s mouth 

but we’re always too tired to make up for all the time we spent these tender, tired hours


The lamentation of modernized life and the inherent triteness of human interaction is a universal phenomenon. Not only does Faceless Figures elucidate a central societal issue, but it also reinforces the frequently under-appreciated value of human connection, compassion, and ultimately, love.


In 3rd grade, Khushi’s English teacher told her she writes well, so she never stopped. She shall graduate High School in 2020 from Amity International School located in New Delhi, India. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in The Aerie International, Di-verse-city Youth Anthology and The Apprentice Writer. She has also been a commended Foyle Young Poet 2019 from the Poetry Society, UK. Khushi is Hindi for happiness. On most sunny days, that’s what she’s chasing after.

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