It is like being skinned,
like being slowly unguarded
and left in a formidable puddle of my own dearth.
I sit on a couch, a sofa, a loveseat,
anything to cushion the bone I am about to be.
“Let’s undress this sweetheart,
we are only here to celebrate nudity.”
But, mother, I have never been comfortable in my own skin.
Sometimes, after I have smoked enough juvenile
I’ll look into the mirror and see a pair of old lungs
and they are always filled with water
and people try to tell me that it is an ocean-
that the dirt surging inside my arms,
rushing through my thighs,
resting around my stomach-
is a sea.
But what if I only want to see the sea-bed.
And I know that you tell me that I have so much promise,
I can grow a garden inside of me,
I have watered flowers, I have seen life
but I don’t expect you to understand that
sometimes beauty is not enough.
I cannot bare my skin to you,
I have scars on my back,
I carry ugly weight under my cheeks,
and I stare into this mirror you put in front of me.
Why can’t I see myself yet?

A shadow stares back at me,
it is like being deciphered
like being pulled apart – vein by vein
I stretch, and I peel,
anything to be a skeleton
anything to be a shell.
My nails run across my calf,
this left knee always hurts
and the mountain above that is pinnacle of my insecurities.
I see the litter as my eyes make its way further up
scaled, scattered, succumbing to another foul
bend more
pinch more
“You have a lot of promise left in you.”
put that pout in a swath
hang it around your hip
knead more
wail more
I think I can finally see it-
staring at me is a girl I have never met.

Photo Credit: Gilbert-Noël Sfeir Mont-Liban Flickr via Compfight cc

Paakhi Bhatnagar

Paakhi Bhatnagar is a student from India and an avid reader of historical fiction. She is a passionate feminist and blogs about current politics and feminist issues. She also possess the uncanny ability of turning everything into a debate.

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