A tale of truth:
I was gift wrapped
in red vessels with green roots
with a soft flesh blanket,
cuddling me like coating wax
on museum sculptures of ancient art.
‘A Christmas present,’
I would call myself.
Birthed alongside pebbled bones and elongated brothers,
when she stretched her palms
to finger tips, reaching out to ink and paper
pages met poetry
I was like the bark of a rubber tree,
she tapped words and ideas off me,
sometimes using it to protest on paper, silently
A metal scale travels length in space.
A measuring tape, a weighing scale and a geometry box;
maths wasn’t her favourite,
it wasn’t mine either.
When the axis of the compass rooted its pointed tail
in the womb of my green roots,
scarring my boned body
I bled my vessels out,
her tears too were red.
Yes, it’s true minutes are made of seconds
and seconds are made of milliseconds.
Time ticks at its own time
But blood fountains don’t make
happy childhood memories.
It was like a dotted line:
a parade of red ants,
probably dancing to jazz.
It started like that but the compass had friends
there were scissors, syringes and blades
butter knives, egg beaters and potato mashers
kept around like spectators and gentle relatives
to play with the leftover corpses of my existence.
I lost my shape and colour.
Red and green, I was taught
were not meant to be together.
My greens felt like a mentally challenged octopus,
my reds like amoeba.
The toolbox was an excavation kit of experimentation
She was losing her organ to loneliness
But I puked my soul out that day
I was cut off from life with such ease
like switching off the cable
or forcing the mouth of a pen
with the cap down its throat.
Rivers of ink stopped flowing for a long time.
She did learn to write with her left hand
but the bruise stayed like permanent extended family members
like drenched memories
inked on skin
It was noiseless unlike the tear of paper
but tighter than the sliding down of a stubborn zip.
In the world of many lies,
amongst organs and poetry, once again
we lost another tale of truth.
‘I believe that we are breathing in the air of a country that feeds on bribery the way we feast on sweets on a festive day. A lot of conversations and deals are cracked under the tables. One such thing that’s making rounds as easily as clapping hands without noise is organ abuse. Human organs are treated worse than plastic bags and are sacrificed to worship the tag of child abuse and slavery.
Through the poem, I would like to give the struggling organ (in this case being the wrist) a voice box and let it weave its tale through the torturous words. It also subtly stabs the right (write) hand that tries to protest. It shows the death of an organ, the death of a writer pointing out to the death of someone who protests with a pen.’
Words contributed by Aekta Khubchandani
Art: Shama Nair
Edits: Tanushree Baijal
Aekta Khubchandani wears the colour red on her head but loves to work in black and white. She is the author of the story “Together,” that has been printed in Mosaic: An Anthology of Short Stories. She also has her work featured in the Aerogram, Mad Swirl, Terribly Tiny Tales and the Quail Bell Magazine. She performs poetry, writes short fiction, page poetry, life articles and illustrates a few in ink and print. She is currently working on her novel.