by Sudakshina Kashyap
(Jorhat, Assam, India)
take a deep breath
and keep moving
Even if your insecurities
return after they had been exiled
from their country,
even if your heart weighs too heavy
and lonely like a mountain,
it still echoes his name everytime
you whisper l-o-v-e.
even if your palms sweat,
even if you are scared,
even if poetry palpitates of translating
your last exhales into her breathes,
ask her out the way
poets in Baghdad wrote
Arabic poems during a war.
kiss your lover the way
a spring gives birth to a summer.
even if heartbreaks feel like wasps sting,
remember that wounds unfold your skin the way a flower opens amid a pandemic.
post that damn art
even if you merely get a heart.
Post that damn picture,
which shows your freckles
like Hercules constellation,
your stretch marks like forest lines,
the colour of your skin
like the Hershey's chocolate
that helped power allied troops
your thigh gaps like hallway corridors
you'll find lovers
with their fingers entwined,
and your stomach like an inflated balloon
one blows on birthdays.
post that damn picture
even if they say you're glorifying obesity,
when all you want is body positivity.
post that damn picture
because weight loss surgeries
aren't as easy as trolling someone
on their comment section,
because your survival is more important than Bulimia and starvation.
Post that damn picture
because instagram diets will only tell you about 10 tips to follow detox
and rock on that swimming suit
but not about antidepressants
and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
it's okay if you fail in math,
but make sure to use the correct numbers while reducing sleeping pills;
it's okay if you get an E
in English grammar,
but make sure
to use the correct conjunctions
when they say,
"you're fat (but) beautiful"
"I'm fat (and) beautiful."
even if you burn and burn and burn,
burn yet bright enough
to blind Hephaestus,
maybe fire is waiting to be discovered for the second time in history.
even if your heart is Hampi
in the Battle of Talikota,
remember that its ruins
are now a World Heritage Site.
even if you feel yourself drowning,
drown. drown. drown
let the Niagara waterfalls
make love with your skin,
remember the only thing
that remained inside Pandora's box
hope to turn your body into a bulletproof,
hands into a guitar and your fingers,
so that everytime you hold a blade,
it reminds you of only music and not blood;
blood that makes a soldier heroic
but a woman impure
so you say red is a rebellion to stitch;
stitch the slits on your wrists
with leather patches,
sew them with Diwan-e-Ghalib
and tie a knot of Inquilab;
Inquilab is the romance of Shiv and Kali amidst the dance of Inteqaal;
Inteqaal is for the stars in the sky
that explode in a supernova,
but you're the noor, my love,
all the celestial bodies would die
if your waves don't travel;
travel like a train does,
it never stops moving forward,
and neither should you.