When a man tells you that your body is poetry,
that he could shape it with his tongue forever,
hold it between his breaths like a prayer,
bleach your skin into vellum,
turn your blood into ink,
your mouth into a metaphor.
Your spine is a narrative of heartbreak.
You make yourself available
to the collective.
You float on the wireless,
weightless and bright,
like an inflatable boat.
You offer your body like a story,
like a poster,
like a hotel room
on the wrong side of the town,
like a highway.
You use your ribs as milestones.
does he listen to your body
when it turns into a nightmare,
makes the same mistakes
over and over,
when it destroys itself
on foreign tongues?
Has he ever listened to it break?
Does he hear your body
when it chokes on the sibilants,
forgets all the words,
becomes an apology,
Does your skin burn when he touches you?
When a man says you belong to him,
that your body is a hurricane,
a chaos of knowledge,
a shoreline at sunset,
something that he cannot imprison in his lungs.
It will tear his throat out.
Does he not know
that every syllable he utters
rewrites you into a story
that does not belong to him?
Every poem he has ever written
carries the history of your assassination.
When he tells you he loves you,
your body knows exactly what to say.
It knows the words perfectly.
It has learnt the language they speak.
It has become an invincible tongue.
When he makes love to you,
you remain suspended in entropy,
weightless and silent,
like a helium balloon.
The mirror shows a collection of limbs,
lips, eyes, skin,
a lover men could want,
and spit out intact.
You let your body tell him of your gratitude.
Thank you for seeing me
Thank you for loving me
when a man tells you that your body is poetry,
you are the inheritor of
your mother’s blood,
your sister’s blood,
your grandmother’s blood.
You are a living eulogy.
Your body is inevitable.
It is the fossil that breathes
and no man has a voice loud enough
to drown its silence.
Indian Review | Authors and Literature | Adharshila Chatterjee writes on Indian Review.