A Cure for Broken Shoulders

When the rain gravitates towards you

be still, my dear.

Be still and let it touch you

like a lover’s breath on broken shoulders.

 

It sings quite softly, my dear,

but when it does, I swear to you,

the world stops spinning to

let the stars sing along.

 

You’ll feel the tune escape your lips

and your soul will dance in bliss,

Be still, my dear, and let the lover’s

breath write stories of magic on your skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mulberry Wings

I would give you a long explanation over why I wrote this poem, but it is unnecessary. Just look at it as an expression of anger against all forms of rape and abuse that exist. 

 

The first time i knew the meaning of consolation

was a breath of warm air into my ear,

air that smelled faintly of humour-laced

words and cigarettes, telling me

‘Shhh, you’ll be fine now.’

And I remember looking at his dark

brown eyes and the pockmarks

on his skin as he said this, and the bruise on

my knee stopped throbbing quite as much.

“It doesn’t hurt anymore.” I said

as he smiled back at me.

They say how an adult reacts to a situation

has a psychological impact on the child’s

reactions, but those are big words, and I

was but a small child,

and those words to me had nothing to do

with logic

and everything to do with magic.

 

 

 

Years later, I stand in front of the full length mirror,

like a broken sparrow with mulberry wings

and haunted eyes,

and I try to form the same words

but choke up mid-way,

as I see his form approaching,

once so familiar,

now so strange,

as I see his hands reach for me

I realised what words I

once thought were magic

in the way they healed me

were the words that had broken

me in the first place:

he whispers into my ear,

‘Shhh, you’ll be fine now.’

 

 

 

Clay

you impressed me

you were impressed upon me
the faint dent of your lips on the edge of my throat
the hollow of bright red fingers on my fading wrists
the stamp of words whispered against my hair
the print of heel warm on my knobbly knee
the dip of your elbows against my ribs
i was clay for you, dear potter
and i gave you all,
all that you chose to make
a shattered vase.

Today, I promise.

I saw you wipe your red-rimmed eyes today, when you thought nobody was looking.

You quickly dabbed the edges of your monogrammed silk kerchief at the edges of your eyes, and plopped it back into your bag, in a matter of seconds. You pasted on that huge smile, flashing your pearly-white teeth at your friends, as you spoke about how much you adored that year’s Fall Collection. You watched as your friends lightly tapped your elbow, and you cringed slightly as they leaned into you doubled with laughter, but you smiled anyway. You thought I hadn’t seen your eyes, but I had.

I heard you throwing up in the wash room today, when you thought nobody was listening.

Your tender milky knees were on the floor, and you continued, without heeding to the purple swirly bruises that were now forming. You chose the stall when the bathroom was empty, but you tried to be silent, nevertheless. You slowly and steadily deposited your favorite pasta you had bought earlier from the store across, and you wiped your burning mouth afterwards. You made sure you used the perfume softly, listening against the graffiti-filled door of the stall for anyone outside, your head spinning just the slightest. You thought I hadn’t heard your noise, but I had.

I know that you contemplated killing yourself today, when you thought nobody would know.

You tried hard to fight the black monsters raging within your bones, but decided to finally listen to them. You felt the sharp edge of the knife against your finger, testing and deciding. You walked to the balcony, hands running on the railing, and wondered if it would hurt too bad or feel like flying. You wondered if it was true about drowning- lungs bursting and absolute misery- and vaguely registered that even that sounded less painful than what you were experiencing. That any amount of pain would be better than the cold numbness that had settled within you. You know that had it not been for the shrill call of the telephone, you may not have stopped yourself. You thought I didn’t know your darkness, but I knew.

I saw and I heard and I knew. I am time, you see, my dear. You try to box me into seconds and minutes and hours, but I am un-boxable. I am infinity. I stretch along, holding each one of you in my never-ending arms.

And believe me when I say- Your heart doesn’t have to stop beating to stop hurting. Trust in me and trust in yourself and all will be well. Your laugh will one day actually have happiness, and your food one day will actually reside in your belly, and the knives in your kitchen one day will only be used for chopping vegetables.

Today, I saw you and I heard you and I know you.

But tomorrow! Tomorrow, I promise you, You will see you and You will hear you and You will know you.

And eventually, You will learn to love you.

—-

Make A Wish

The sunlight landed on the streamers

taped clumsily across the wall

chocolate frosted cake on the table

twenty pairs of eyes blinked at me

hands clapping in glee

“Make A Wish. Blow the Candle”.

mum’s voice blew into my ear

And I wished

that i could eat the icecream

from the cart

across the park

and I wished that

she would buy me that blue

car I had seen in the store.

A group of giggling teenagers

sat huddled across

on a warm bed sharing

snacks and stories

“It’s 11:11! Make A Wish”

they whispered,

And I wished,

that I was more thinner

and less freckled

and that the boy with the

hair like gold

and eyes like emeralds

would walk over and

say hi.

It was a long drive

over endless plains and

the dark sky was lit by

stars scattered

we stopped for a while,

laid down on the sand,

“It’s a shooting star! Make A Wish!”

he pointed,

And I wished,

that my dead baby would

come back gurgling

and playing in my arms

and that

my heart would

start

feeling again.

The fountain was crowded

by hopes and dreams

and I clutched the

penny

skeptically in my palm

“Throw the coin. Make A Wish.”

the signboard promised

and tears in my eyes

and a fervent prayer on my lips,

I wished,

I wished hard to go back

to those times

when my only

wish was

something to eat

&

something to play with.

Frayed

“I’d like some rope please.”

“I’ll fetch it for you, beta, just a moment.”

“Won’t you hurry, sir? I’m in a bit of a rush.”

“I’m getting them, just wait.”

“Yes, that’s perfect.”

“That’d be 500 rupees.”

“500?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

“I’d like some sheets of paper please.”

“Ruled or Un-ruled, beta?”

“Un-ruled.”

“How many?”

“Five. I’d also like five envelopes, and a blue pen.”

“That’d be 100 rupees.”

“100?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

“I’d like to purchase that stool, please.”

“This one, beta?”

“Yes, that very one.”

“We have different colours also, and dif-“

“No, I want this very one.”

“That’ll be 600 rupees.”

“600?! But that’s too much.”

“It’s the finest quality, beta. It

will help you well.”

“Alright.”

He trodded

down the narrow gravel path

his

head spinning

slightly

his hands burnt

around the edges

practising

knots

His empty

apartment

said hello

he nodded back and

said goodbye

went to the room

wrote the letters

tied the rope

and hung

himself

all the while thinking

that the cost

of his

life

had been 1200 rupees.