My story

(There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
                       Amrita Pritam

his, “will you cook for me forever!” 
that had seemed the most romantic question then, was my undoing
as I happily immersed myself in pots and pans,
tied to the invisible post of domesticity; I lost my true ‘self’

my turmeric stained fingers had no time to stain paper
measuring lentils and rice, I forgot to weigh in my views
relegated to the background
I became a mere prop; useful but useless

every night i braid pain, pillowing my head on it
uncoiling itself, it slithers on to my chest
humming a mournful berceuse to lull me to sleep
the moon wanes dolefully behind pewter clouds
smudging my cheeks, as i forbid the tears from falling

oblivious, uncaring and narcissistic
he sleeps deeply, purged of his angst and manliness 

i find blisters on my heart as the morning dew falls
suppurating in the dappled sunlight 
as dawn brings more unwarranted outbursts
my mind; a numb cauldron
bubbles with indignation
but is conditioned not to boil over
a tempest brews in my chest
screams suffocate routinely in my sternum
when I throttle the voice that clamours in my throat

i don’t recognise my body anymore 
bruises speckle my once smooth skin
like blooms of putrid decay; hurting but not painful
then wither away, to make place for more

i am a book written in tears and blood
my resilience keeps my spine intact 
though it would be a relief to crumble
a poem dies in my womb everyday
while waiting to tell its story

my story is intertwined with the story of every woman 
that needs retelling every generation.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today I am the guest host at the pub. For poetics we are invoking famous Punjabi writer, Amrita Pritam. We have to use one line from the five given, as an epigraph and write a poem.

  1. When a man denies the power of women, he is denying his subconscious.
  2. Like an offering at the altar of the spirit, our names slipping out of our lips, became a sacred hymn.
  3. (There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
  4. Perhaps I will become a ray of sunshine, to be embraced by your colours. I will paint myself on your canvas.
  5. Look further on ahead, there between truth and falsehood, a little empty space.

Also written for Sadje’s wdys and linking to Eugi’s weekly prompt.

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