my body shrinks
under the weight
of the colours
they want me to bear —
the heritage they want to me uphold,
the cultural legacies I know nothing about,
the races they think I represent
my face is no longer
what the mirror shows me.
I am a sample for the world
to dissect in labs,
study in seminars,
analyse in classes —
I am a symbol of the wretched
the Bible hails,
waiting for a heaven
the Earth denies.
Did I tell you this room is haunted?
Love-lorn girl who jumped out of the window
woman pregnant out of wedlock who hanged herself on the ceiling fan
girl who consumed poison after her parents died in a car crash,
woman with brain tumour who wrote her tale in crimson on the floor,
teenager who was gangraped and died of her injuries — here on the bed and no one knew for days!
You and I narrated the tales as one,
sang paeans to the lonely women,
felt melancholic breaths coursing through the stifled air,
alcohol glasses filling up and emptying ceaselessly
etching ineffable lines on our bodies
The ghost of a million despondent memories
haunted the hostel room as we held hands,
planted scared kisses on our forbidden curves,
wondering which memory to leave on these walls —
deciding in the end that perhaps
no memory was better than love.
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