I can’t speak
scraps of dead letters
come off the walls of my mouth
and settle in sync with lonely old voices
humming parodies on awkward shapes my jaw carries.
My head knows to shake a yes and a no now; carefully,
not letting almosts
or in-betweens to bump into the picture.
Ma believes it to be an evil eye,
she burns chilly and salt and blows up half my brain.
I tell her that I’m okay; trusting the way my hands mock my thoughts,
more than I’ve ever trusted my words.
There were days bitter than today, Ma.
- The day I almost choked myself to death,
with thirteen morsels of embarrassment in my mouth
when you asked me if I had made any friends at school.
- The day the girl who sits next to me
told me she no longer feels terrified
when her father pins down her mother’s wails.
Her cheeks were sunk in distress
translucent like the cries for help;
falling apart at the feet of her nightmare.
(Twelve hours after she shot herself to death,
I locked myself up in a washroom; sore at my body
shrinking with the words I could have said
gushing down the plughole.)
- The day I started planting emotions—
my toes crying in discomfort as their roots climb them up like rampant ants,
my neck hanging down against an invisible noose.
- The day I forgot to stand up for myself
while cramming self-reminders to be nice with people
and to water lilies.
- The day I stopped talking.
Yes, I can’t speak;
But tell me how different it sounds in your head now?
Name : Anakha B
Company Name : Qburst Technologies, Kochi
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