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Epitaph in red

Adyasha Kar

I trace my fingers across the red vessels
Of the fittonia plant,
Just the way I draw lines against my veins,
Crimson, on my numb brown flesh.
My cold body seems wrapped
In thorns, emerging out of a
Red rose plant
Pulling and piercing from end to end
As if this pain is the only thing
That holds me together.
So, I find new ways to stand still
On the path of the storm’s eye.
I claw my way down
Till anger becomes pain
Till sobs turn into silence.
I find an earthquake ravaging
My body, it trembles and pushes
My livid mind into oblivion.
I drown in the darkness
Looking for a feeble hope
To hold on to but all I see
Is a shadow of red.
I drape it around my eyes
And make art on my body
Like the sermons of a porched soul.
Mother says I hurt her
Each time I find refuge
In a new bruise
For she feels my sharp nails
Cutting across her heart.
But mother, I try.
I try to stop
But the edge of a blade
Keeps hanging against
the nape of my neck
That cuts me
With a sudden thrust,
My senses collapse
I feel frozen like a stone
Perching at the bank
Of a cold, harsh stream
That runs over me,
Spilling waves of agony
And in that moment
The only escape I find
Is this body of mine
And I hide these struggles
With drawn sleeves and
Pulled up collars
I feed on myself, silently.


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