On Your Shrinking

you look at yourself in those mirrors on the walls of the bathrooms in the mall sideways now,
sucked-in cheeks, and I remember
that crop-top you bought, that crop-top, a scale for your chest and your waist, a promise
but you threw it out yesterday,
tag and all from the last eleven months because it took you a while,
a long chain of missed meals and feigned burps, to get there
and that cruel crop-top allowed, after eleven months of waiting and ‘controlling’,
allowed the moonlight to still dance with the new shiny stretch marks on your waist
the tag from the reject pile mocking you,
reflecting the number that you skipped ice-cream dates and pizza parties to save up,
to save up for this crop-top you dreamed you’d one day slay
what a shame, you invited the chain to choke you till you coughed your happiness away

every grumble in your stomach was a step away from this cage, a step towards ‘control’, a step full of pain, unimaginable pain, but
but, well, at least your jawline and your collarbones are now
nearly as sharp as the silver knife that offered you its company while you stared at your kitchen door with empty eyes
and turned your hollow torso away as it extended its warm, welcoming hand of friendship
with laboured ease

your fight wasn’t with your mum over the sugar in your cereal every breakfast every morning,
it wasn’t with your favourite cheesecake
you’re battling with your own body and your head,
they’re screaming as society triumphantly plays divide and rule and
you’re terrified and confused and just sit, crying, hoping
that the tears rolling down this little child’s cheeks will be enough
to shut both the sides up and have them retreat, or better,
make peace
just a child

fast forward four months, and hey, this is a weird feeling,
you’re seeing your ribs up close for the first time in your sixteen years of owning them
the lunch bell triiings in your nightmares every night and
you’ve now recognized that group of friends that doesn’t care about you enough to check what you’re eating,
whether you’re eating

maybe if you would just look at how your eyes become stars every time you smile,
you wouldn’t scold that little lock of hair beside your ear
for failing this once to cover up
the second little chin that makes an appearance every time
someone or something lights up your face
because your face lights up!
you are the sun.

look past, please, your stomach bulging over your belt,
and at the book that you bent over to pick up to give to the boy whose things those mean, mean girls and boys
knocked out of his arms,
look at his lips mouth thank you, thank you, you angel

your body, darling, is not you
those boys and girls, perhaps, whispered to your head to never be kind to you
but maybe you only need to be the beautiful, gorgeous person you are,
let your body feel as lucky to be your coat as you once felt unlucky to be its seed.
teach your body that it only encases the magic that is you
and has every reason to be so, so proud
you’re that many cubed centimetres more beautiful, concentrated.

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Flame

My lips are chapped.
I don’t fit in small sizes.
I’ve got messy hair,
I don’t have clear skin.
I’m not smart
I’m not ‘cool’.
My eyes hide behind thick glasses,
I’m too soft to be heard and
I crack lame jokes.
This girl doesn’t have that fire in her.

But it’s your loss that you,
You don’t see my raw smile, the most genuine one you’ll see
Don’t see how well every inch of me fits with my piano pedal and keys
Nor how wildly beautiful my hair gets after an hour of dancing in the rain
And you haven’t held my warm, welcoming hands
Haven’t been blown away by the whirlwind that is my mind.
You don’t know or care how thoughtful I am
Or see my eyes shining every sunrise, every morning.
You don’t hear me sing lullabies to my cat every night
So she doesn’t go to bed crying like I do
Your loss that you’re oblivious and
You think I’m a burnt out matchstick

When really- there’s this glowing ember waiting
To engulf you with its flame.

Whirlwind

 

I’m a whirlwind inside of my head right now

And the butterflies in my stomach!

They need no urge to appear.

Their fluttering gives me life. It’s a sunshiny feeling, I swear

But then the brutish grey clouds eclipse my warm star of fantasy,

Their cold, cruel droplets of misery blur my vision,

I can feel them condense on my skin.

The last vestiges of my stability shivering.

It’s getting everywhere, it’s clogging my mind, clouding my reason

In torrents, overwhelming; my butterflies are terrified

And the butterflies know only too well –

They must rise above the clouds.

Can they?

They try so hard, they really do

They are capable.

But somehow, instead, just as they reach the silver line,

Crossed wires spark a flame.

Five words uttered viciously send them into a frenzy again,

And somehow, instead, they just get stuck in that whirlwind.

I’m afraid of the rain.

Flung away harshly, disoriented, those beautiful butterflies

They’re lost, in a daze.

And they’re broken, they’ve lost their wings

And they’ve lost that charm, that sparkle, that grace

And no longer

Do they give me life.

It’s Raining

It’s raining. My side of the sky right now is grey, dark grey. It was orange and pink before. Actually, I can’t see much anymore because it’s foggy here, and raining pretty hard – my vision is blurry. It’s really cold and wet and I can feel the wind this time, it’s coming from the right side! Do you feel it too? Is there wind on your side? The clouds are almost pink and there’s crying lightning every other minute but I don’t hear it, there’s no thunder.. that’s strange

Oh god, I’ve managed to lock myself in the balcony again. I can’t get in! Hang on, it’s, like, jammed. Ugh.
Ah yes. Hello? Got in. You know, I tried playing the piano earlier this evening but I couldn’t hear myself, the rain was so loud! But it’s okay- favourite sounds here.

I’m sitting in my favourite place now and tracing the shaky, almost hesitant, path of the raindrops on the glass with my finger. It’s just drizzling now and I’m feeling nearly as weak as the rain sounds. I can see lights all over the city, there’s yellow and blue and red and white and pink and green and orange. That mall, I can actually see tiny people on the escalators through the glass facing me. There’s a woman getting out of her car on the ground floor. She’s going to have to run to her block- she’s covering her head with her dupatta! I don’t know why I’m cracking up. God I’m weird. Sorry.
The reflection of my fairylights on my window when I switch them on is so pretty! I’ll show you a picture. I could sit here forever, really. I love this weather so much.

My side of the sky is great, it’s comforting me today. How about yours?

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I took these. Okay, I should probably go now.

Let’s do this when it rains again.

Night.

Strongheart

We heard the loud scuffling last night. Thud, thud, thud. Ignore, must be the cat going crazy as usual. My father woke up at around 6:45 am and walked downstairs, right into the crime scene. There were signs of struggle in the living room and dining room. We followed them to the TV room, and discovered the body. There she was, her eyes shut, blood on her chest and around, her sorry figure looking half as thin as it should’ve been. Right in the middle of the room, among a hurricane of feathers, was the body of the bird my cat killed.
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