Dear Brother

BlogHer prompt for Tuesday, November 11: If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?

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Dear Brother,

They told me when before I left home

Cover your legs, keep your eyes down

Don’t get dark in the sun and

Get back before the sun sets.

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They say they worry for me brother.

Why do they not worry so for you?

Is life easier for you than for me

Advice and warning echoing in my head

Even after its been said, whirling inside

With images of wide eyes and shaking heads

At everything I do.

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Why do they worry so, brother?

Do you know what it’s like,

The weight of those worries?

Do you carry them with you,

All those people who worry,

When you step out, smile or do?

Because they are with me, even when I sleep.

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Dear brother, sometimes I want to be you

But then I remember what they worry for

They worry about what someone like you

Could do to someone like me.

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And then, I don’t want to be you

Not the monster who makes them worry

Not that gender that automatically labels you

As dangerous, making them worry about me.

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Where Your Hand Was

Have you ever been groped? I hope not. Because the pain in that touch stays with you years after it’s over. 

 

Your eyes crawl all over me

Your breath makes me feel nauseous

Your eyes look dull as you grope me

And I’m left with the imprint of your hand

Long after you took your share

And I feel dirty, as if the grime in you

Has somehow spread to me

Where your hands squeezed,

Leaving me too sad to cry.

 

Where your hand was,

There lies my pain. 

And though I hate myself for it,

Because I know it isn’t me, but you,

I feel ashamed.

See

See

Those days when I wake up feeling

As if my spirit had fled my body

Leaving behind a hollow corpse,

The days when teeth bite my insides

Every time my lips stretch into a smile

When my eyes become cloudy suddenly

And tears trickle slowly, like a barren monsoon

 

Those days when all I am is reduced to being a hypocrite

When faking comes so easily that I feel that it defines me

Frantic laughter, senseless words, desperate smiles

Cover up my frailty in front of myopic eyes.

 

On such days, I hesitate to meet your gaze

And realize, in the depths of your discerning eyes

My hypocrisy, my cover, my protection fall away

And I’m left trembling in my vulnerability.

 

When I look at you on those days, 

I cannot figure out which emotion engulfs me:

Is it my scorching need that you see me this way?

Or is it cold hatred for you because you see so easily

What others can never see, what I hide so well?

The Constants

Some things remain with you, after everything else disappears

The comforting harmony of the night, the cold which hugs you tight.

When you try to remember, you hear laughter and picture bright lights

Was there really no pain then, or is this how you choose to picture it?

But now, what haunts you is the eerie conversations between silences

The forced smiles, the glances you indulge in before pretending not to see.

 

Things you thought were constant collapse so quickly, 

They replace you with one-dimensional memories of you

And when they see you, they see a memory they chose to preserve,

Gradually, even that shadow of you fades away, and you see

Their eyes, blinking to fit you into an image you outgrew years ago.

 

They become speeding cars, making your heart thud for just a moment

Before they soar past you, leaving you on the street kissed by dim lamps.

In the end, that is what you remember: the soft light which shone bravely

After all the other lights were put out, the gentle breeze fanning your tears.

 

They fade away soon, and you force yourself to stop caring

Loneliness is sticky like honey; its taste clings to your mouth,

You gaze at the sleeping sky, the grass peering longingly above

And you remember the constants, everything that stayed with you,

While you were too busy running after sun beams and mirages.

Hunger

Hunger

Write a post in the style of (or simply inspired by) a favorite author.

 

I’ve already done this on 28th May: https://barefootonrainydays.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/hunger/

Here’s the poem I wrote then, which was inspired by Jayanta Mahapatra’s poem of the same title:

 

I walked in
The crowd rose to greet me
Clapping, greedy for my words
I saw the hunger in their eyes
Wild, cruel, never satiated
I realized how my hunger 
Was now the nation’s desire
I saw the monster in their eyes
And my stomach growled
Their cries made me hungrier
As my mind yelled, “more!”

And then I remembered the other hunger
The one in the camps
Stifled, silent, terrified
I saw it in their eyes
The starvation to live
And to see me dead

Later, their dead eyes stayed with me
Feeding my hunger,
And making it grow.

Look

Look

Do you like being scared by books, films, and surprises? Describe the sensation of being scared, and why you love it — or don’t.

 

You look at me, 

And I remember

A dream which recurred;

Me running away, chased

By shadows of people.

 

You look at me, 

The waters rise

I cannot breathe 

As my lung screams

For what it took for granted.

 

You look at me,

The room shrinks

My body is paralyzed

The walls which comforted

Now form my cage.

 

You look at me,

And I see how I’ve died

For you that day, now forever.

The death in your eyes terrify me,

I know I can never live for you, again.