Temporary warmth

We’re walking on different sides of a sunlit street

The rain has ceased, everything glistens with temporary warmth

We are no longer the children of coal and sinking crafts

Who plucked our fear from our teeth like stray pieces of meat

In undigested land devoid of dental floss

I swam once

The entire length of a pool holding my breath underwater

The teachers eyes bulging, as he asked me why I didn’t drown

I could have told him, drowning wasn’t the worst fate

Nothing to lose with eyes closed, pushing against surly weight of water

Antiseptic smell in my nostrils and your voice

Catching with laughter like much played vinyl

We hung from tree limbs to forget the welt of sad places

Drifting in sunlight as long as we could, before shadows criss-crossed satsuma sun

I could have said; when you’ve nothing to lose

It’s easier to give your all

Even as you drown on dry land

But adults never understood us then, with our suitcases of pain and secrets

They stapled confessions together and told us

Don’t make up wicked lies

Sent us home, without pebbles in our pockets

To mark the way back to before we spoke

Out.

That is why

Diving deep

I would talk to you as we

Held our mutual spearmint breath

Swam fierce, then languid, until numb

Through unyielding padlocked worlds

So similar to all we knew

Save those brief moments skipping class

With the glory of a starting over day, all her unabashed radiance

Even nightmares could be beautiful

Braid their hair with pink skirted daisies

On days like those

Uncomfortably Numb-Christine Ray

stop
Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame

i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly

told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared

many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony

Adam and Eve/Varnika Jain

3bd9734f0fd037a8c36f063437ca4511

Abused

Misused

And ravaged.

When she gathered enough courage

To tell someone about it

She was told to stay mum

To go on as if nothing happened.

To cover up.

To not incite.

To take caution.

To not invite.

Like she had asked for it.

Like her body,

Which she was born with,

And in which she had no say

Was, for all purposes, a crying shame.

They say, what’s in a name?

Well, Adam ate the apple too,

But it’s Eve who’s forever to blame.


Varnika Jain is prone to having verbal epiphanies in the midst of all the cacophony surrounding her life.  She is a voracious reader, vociferous eater and a vehemently passionate writer. You can read more of her writing at Moonlighting Scrivener where you can find her changing the world, one word at a time.

Uncomfortably Numb-by Christine Ray

stop
[Another powerful poem by our powerhouse of a poet,Christine Ray!]

Once upon a time
i was an innocent
girl-child
full of trust
day dreams
fairy wishes
like many
girl children
barbarian
invaders
tried to claim
my territory
as their own
i was young
helpless
powerless
but absorbed
the lesson
shame
 
i learned to live
outside
of the country
named body
retreated
to the
the land
called
dissociation
to protect
the integrity
the fragility
of self
grew thicker
skin
became
a chameleon
felt rage
simmer
in my belly
 
told over
and
over
again
that I existed
for other’s
entertainment
pleasure
called
bitch
dyke
ballbuster
tease
when
i insisted
that i would
set the terms
for
who
when
where
my body
would be shared
 
many years
later
i meet the foe
called
neuropathy
that drags
me
out of
dissociation
and solidly back
into body
whether
i want to
be there
or not
neuropathy
is excruciating
numbness
burning
radiating pain
i laugh
at the irony