Every time a mother
dies, it rains,
every time a daughter,
cries- moans- wants
to hold the world in her hands,
every time death, becomes a word
set in stone,

every time a daughter
mourns her dead mother at twelve,
and wishes there were more things
she could tell her, wishing there
were lesser secrets
she had kept, and slowly the death
becomes callouses over deeper wounds
beneath, she is told pain, comes at the
price of womanhood,

every time a mother forgets
to check for lumps, every time she
forgoes a test, every time someone
tells her, women are made of suffering,
and childbirth becomes a bliss, and
menstrual cramps become a blessing,
and rupture on the first night
becomes a celebration, every time
blood and pain and suffering become
her only identity,

every time she
becomes the rain,
and forgotten,
a mother dies

(To the daughter who mourns her mother’s death tonight. And to the mother, upon whose death her family realised, there was so much more to take care of, so much more to hold close)



Trigger Warning

What did you expect, when
you knocked on their doors,
gun in hand, trigger resting
on sprocket-coil-joint-waiting
for a moment’s notice
did you expect deliverance?
was there a dialogue?
did the dancing men try to
change your mind?
did they tell you, that some gods
are gay too, the way
some men and women are?
did they tell you some gods like resting
their divine heads, on another gods’
chests, such that their halo gets crumpled
along with the bedsheets?
did they tell you, god asks, to love others?
did they remind you, god made rainbows
so gay people could stand underneath, as
could straight or bisexual or transgender
one for each
each for one
colour of the heavenly arch?
because son, you’ve sinned
and in my eyes
they have held hands,
and they have kissed
and that is love,
which has always filled my heart
while hatred, has filled yours, to the brim


It was my first time

It was my first time, being out
after 9, knowing mom would be
angrier than ever, but her smile
when I knock on the door, at
quarter to 10, and her denial
when asked if she worried, ‘of course
not, I knew you’d be back, soon’,
she’d say, would slowly fill the gaps
between our silent dinner together

It was my first time, at a party, I was
never much of a party person, so
many people, so loud, so momentary
it made me nervous
and how people became friends,
so easily, escaped me
but I knew parties, were just
places, where loneliness lost its name,
and became loneliness, without context

It was my first time, drinking, and
laughing, I almost forgot my worries,
and my sister threw back her hair, so
lightly, and she was so happy, I thought
she could cry
We drank from tiny glasses, three
fingers deep, the liquid was bitter and
warm, and three boys sat across from
the bar, looked at us and blushed,
and my sister said ‘the drinks are getting
warmer in our palms’, and I laughed too

It was my first waking up, mom’s voice,
swimming through the haze, wake up
honey, wake up, it’s almost afternoon
already, and I slowly strained my eyes open,
mom wasn’t there, only a nurse, in
starched white uniform, and a growing
patch of sweat, expanding
we thought we’d lost you for a minute, she said
can you remember anything that happened,
we need to examine you, can you
can you understand?
I nod

It was my first rape, and there can be no
more, for there isn’t
any more of me, to
assault, there isn’t
enough body, there isn’t
enough soul, later I hear, he had pushed
three fingers inside me,
that’s the same we use, to measure the
depth of tequila shots, he had kept going
he had kept assaulting
my battleground of
a body, he had kept going
only because I hadn’t stopped

It was his first time too, he pleaded, a year later, in front of a jury,
it was his career, he said
she was drunk, he said,
not ‘sorry, it was my fault’, 
not ‘it was me, and I should be punished’,
but ‘she’
but ‘parties and alcohol’
but ‘career’
‘besides, she didn’t resist’, he adds,
as if an afterthought,
as if it was supposed to make
the jury sigh in relief
‘thank god, finally, we can say not guilty’

It’s always the first time for
someone, I wanted to say, and
raping someone while they were
unconscious, is like stabbing
someone while they slept, and no,
it’s all your fault,
and no, six months isn’t enough,
six months is how long it takes,
for summer to fade into winters,
six months is how
long it took for me,
to write this letter
and if you still think you’re innocent,
imagine how it’d feel, if it was
the first time you let your mother
be angry, thinking
over dinner, you’ll let your silences
dissolve the anger, and now,
silence dissolves itself everyday,
in how our
eyes meet, scared
but stubborn,
but breathing, yet


The first time we did it

The first time we did it, was
like being back at the beach,
my hands trying to cover
your breasts, like waves
trying to reclaim, shore
You heave at my touch, become
the sea, drown me, in undeniable
my teeth mark,
red and blue,
your skin
like footprints on sand, and then my
tongue licks, where your skin feels
warm and bruised, where hickeys
look like tan, from bathing too long
under the summer sun
my kisses trail, further down, stubble
scraping on naked skin, in your eyes
brown as sin, I find my longing melt,
and when my mouth
sucks you down
there, there’s a taste as bitter as the salt,
as raw as foam, as
as blood
I suck like a drowning man
struggles to breathe, underwater,
blind, with the smell of the ocean
lingering on my breath
I suck, you moan, the sea roars at
high tide, the water floods, dry
land, rising
up till, my tongue
is a lover’s bare ankle
getting drenched in the gushing flow
Then suddenly, the sea turns
wild, takes back into it’s throat, erect
banner of an oakwood boat, guzzles
swirls, waves like her tongue
around the tip of the mast
and in a moment, lovers turn
to water
in each other’s arms
entering each other, with reckless abandon, till knees hurt at the bend
till rooms spin into a ferris wheel
and the spinning
keeps getting faster
and soon my skin knows how deep
your aches run, and your sweat
knows, how my moaning begs
and as we come onto each other
as your salt  
                               in my mouth
as my waves turn
                  to froth,
                                in you,
I know we’d bleed
our bed together