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Heart


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My thoughts jettison in poetry
In restless shapes and forms
You bewitched me once, you see
An edgy little fawn
And though countless eons passed
Tonight of all the many nights
I tear my paper heart

I picked up my stone-dead feet for you
I stole fingers from a corpse
I learnt to sing falsetto and smile at
the terror in my heart

I know you still remember me
in the gentleness of my prose
You mirror pain you pushed upon
the smattering of my heart

Now all these years hang between us like
A ragged curtain in the wind
I see you through its gaps; counting
the pebbles in my heart

Even as I heal my brain and soul
I see your imprints all over me
Broken beneath my skin I still hide
the pieces of that heart

Tonight of all the many nights
it doesn’t matter that I lived this long
Like all the girls before me who lift
their skirts and push
Blood diamonds into this world
I write poetry in red ink and I
tear my paper heart

Today I confronted stories of people I love- and detected a common pattern of painful submission in the lives of countless girls I know. We are all in our mid-twenties and I was suddenly stuck by the fact that we are all already broken. It isn’t just the curse of a female body to bear the cuts, bruises and tears of  her submission to nature, to man, to birth, to the good and the bad of humanity, it is often her only form of self-identity. When we push other narratives aside and become only victims in our own eyes, we suffer intermittently but sometimes that is indeed the only option we have and it allows us to revel in our femininity.

I wanted to write a poem at the interface of that female gentleness, her subjugation, and her recuperation. Here I try to capture a circular journey where inflicted pain damages body, soul and mind, but generates ‘blood diamonds’- something brutal and valuable that she must incorporate into the rest of her existence, whether or not she wishes to do so. In capturing the ‘you’, I was thinking of man but I also think of patriarchy more broadly, of nature, of the often unspoken and unknown ailments that plague a female body of reproductive age.

Disclaimer: Femininity is a much, much larger than just victimhood, of course, although it is undeniable that a certain part of it does come from the exposure of vulnerability to a harsh world that threatens to destroy it, which does not make it weak or wrong but merely imperfectly placed in its surroundings (this could often mean that the surroundings must be the ones to cave in). Femininity in that case is all-encompassing of anything a woman may self-identify with. I will not take it upon myself to even attempt to describe what it is, but by using it in this sense, I wanted to highlight one of its myriad manifestations.

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8 thoughts on “Heart

  1. Either this piece of expression is esoteric or too complex to comprehend especially the metaphors. Without footnote and disclaimer it can be categorised as words of a schizophrenic. It is not absurd though.

      1. Indeed. As a sign of goodwill and moral right please send me huge amounts of purchasing power in form of money equivalent to what I owe you.

    1. haha. A psychic patient never knows whether or not she is ill or perfectly cured, its the objective view and results of the diagnoser that counts. Unless my diagnosis is proved to be incorrect you owe me.

      1. The burden of proof is on you to support your diagnosis. I do not believe you have sufficient evidence to back your claim from merely a blog. That will not be accepted evidence in any court of law/psychic ward

  2. Absence of evidence is not an evidence of absence. How could I make you believe something you are determined not to believe in?

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