empathy

A poem to help you understand you have a perfectly tailored body

Illustration by  Virginia Mori

Illustration by Virginia Mori

 

Tell me what you do when
You are not wearing your
Perfectly tailored person-suit.

I had never known serenity till
The time I saw my nephew come into
This world, with fireflies emanating
From his skin like a token of all the
Demons he was free from, till the time
We told him that one day he will find
It hard to undress himself without
Turning off the lights first because
Fireflies are only visible in
The dark; aren’t they?

The algorithm to perfect body stats is
So long-written you will taste
Catastrophe before you finally realise
That more often than not it is a
Post-humous affair; when I was too
Young to distinguish between advice
And allegation, I took the concept of
Well-wishers a little too literally
It took the death of me and one whole
Spine to know that there is moonlight
Magic inside of me, which comes
With a chronic state of eclipse.

When my nephew studied Cold War in
The history textbook in 9th grade, he
Said he finally had a word to describe
My relationship with high-calorie food
A peon once asked me to donate
Clothes for his son’s marriage; and I
Realised I had never known beauty
Till I saw his daughter come clad in
My undersized jumper which looked
Oversized on her, as she played fetch
With my dog content in how she will
Never bother about corsets and XXLs.

So what do you do when you are not
Finding new ways to shrink into
Cosmopolitan ideals; do you find
Traces of firefly dust on the contours
Of your skin that remind you of the
Last time someone called you
Beautiful, or when someone touched
You like you were magic, and your
Body was one glow-in-the-dark sticker
How long have you been answering
“Pretty” with a “Thank you”; till when
Are you going to; I can see some
Conditioning right there- can you?

Today I will tell you to bring me a
Mannequin, I will tell you to put it by
My side, and I will tell you to stand
Facing me while I tell you to look at it-
Will you tell me the difference?
Can you tell me the difference?

Submitted to ArtParasites by Diksha Bijlani