5, they talked about my wedding bells and finery,
someone who would come rescue me
on a white horse?- I listened perturbed.
9, they teased me about some awkward lanky human,
who liked me- they said I liked him too- eh?
12, when breasts and curves started colonizing my body, I wondered if indeed
I should have been an awkward lanky human.
13, that grouchy nun rapped me on my knuckles for
wrong hair (too short)- wrong clothes (I wore pants)- wrong name- wrong-
for kissing the most beautiful creature- classmate- woman?- I had ever known
in the dark cave of the washroom-
but the creature had liked it too!
15, I needed escape from this town that
gnawed at every minute of my
existence, mocked, threatened to
consume me from within —
eyes quickly averted as I walked- chuckles- violation- muffled screams- blood- pain- worthlessness.
Even love fled in fear.
17, I had arrived. Abandoned from home, three thousand in savings,
warned never to show my face in that crowd- i found an escape from
the constant mutilation,
I arrived when I saw you-
my first glimpse of the city waiting for a friend on the kerb.
Directions- something I had never needed- I asked you for directions and
gave you my soul.
We made conversation- you smiled.
Over a haze of caffeine and snap decisions, you took an utter stranger
into your home.
I found home when you reached into
the recesses of your attic,
to bring up boxes full of your memories
and create my little corner-
give me possession of everything,
When you doubled up in laughter
and caved into my bosom, I wanted
to kiss you in every language I had
heard or known.
All my nights were spent imagining
the contours and coarseness of
the body that protected your soul,
how we should be waking up tangled in
skin under the threadbare blanket.
I wanted to be a spectre in every moment of your life—
meander its ambiguities the way
you twirled your hair around your fingers.
I tasted fire every time you shed your clothes anew-
almost pushed to desire what it was
to run my finger around your belly button up to the faultlines between your breasts – feel
I filled my days with books and writing
about you, even as many jobs ate up my soul, you filled me up again.
18- i took to discreetly sitting at cafes-
looking out for you- oh, darling
I feared that the men you chose
to complete the puzzle that you are could never understand you!
My presence had become a threat-
you wanted to help but you wanted me out— what about the
constructive destructive imagination—
the life we have built together for our souls?
You said my presence gnawed
at your existence, the hue and cry of tears couldn’t move you,
neither did any other hue—
even though your eyes laid bare your truth.
19- there was no nineteen.