In Two Days

I would write a poem
on existential crisis because in
two days it would rain and the
thrust would wash away the henna
I’ve applied on my palms and I
would peel off the crowing gender
cry with pride but, till then, tell me
why I can’t slaughter my nausea
with my overgrown fingernails,
why I can’t moan like I am being
pierced by a butcher’s blade, why I
can’t love with sorrow like a handmaid.

Tell me why I can’t hug myself like
I would crush my own bones without
their consent (as if bones ever give
consent to be broken), or like I would
make a flower child of my brown skin,
why I surf over the Internet, and yet,
cannot tell apart a cock and a pussy,
why my throat does not know the names
the boys and girls who choked it gave it,
why I am willing to become a poet when
I know they are just imaginary and my
body would become a fragment of my
words, why I write words that always
lean on genderless lips trafficked to
prideful genitals with no possession
but servitude.

Tell me all these things and tell me of a
God that does not race to impregnate a
child with a breast or a flat chest and
tell me of a man who does not break
before a mindful, meditating question
mark and I would castrate seventy-two
other men to claim back my manliness.

SWAPNIL is a twenty-two year-old undergrad with a probably-unfunny taste in humour, but they like to believe otherwise. When they are not having their head rammed with academics, they can be found singing, mostly apologetically, or writing poems/short stories not as apolitical as people would like them to be. They have had their work of poetry and fiction previously published in Esthesia, Parentheses, Textploit, and Inklette.