I am

Namrata Pandit

My hair sways to my whims
The guys love it when it falls over shoulders
The pretty girls like to ruffle my hair
When it falls on my forehead
What do I like ?
I want both but every morning I want something different
I claw at my hair relentlessly wishing I could alternate between these egos

She called me Masc King and he called me Buttercup
And now they look good together
I wonder if they ever talk about me
I also wonder if a dress looks better on me or a shirt
I block and unblock numbers looking at the charade of people I let in
Trying to convince my sexuality of its existence
Trying to contain the love I have to offer.

Between the coffee and the exotic color I am labelled with
I study polymorphic genetics of skin color late at night
I don lighter shades and if I feel bold, a neon orange
They still say I'd be prettier if I was fairer and call my color a fetish.
I paint with shades that aren't brown.

Between the petite and chubby, I fight for the middle of nowhere
Eating too little or too much is a scary thought
I don't want to go back to being on medication
just so I could feel hungry
Bony wrists and small tits but hey! thick thighs and a butt that I was told juts
I cry in trial rooms because pants don't fit me the way it looks in my head

I read Tolstoy, Maupassant and, Lawrence when I was 13
Could never work numbers out good enough
I should major in English, was a verdict
But I loved Science, fought my right to study it
Despite being reminded till today,"You're dumb"
"Fundamental Science is a waste of time!"
"Classic Literature or Science, pick a side!"

I come off as quirky, eccentric if you will
And I've been told I'm funny
No one wants to see the class clown sob
What could I possibly have to cry about?
No one wants to see me step out of my clown armour
I have built a circus of my own
Narrating trauma through the way I walk and talk
I have lost my right to get angry when they laugh

At 22, I struggle to write about myself.
"Give a brief description of yourself"
Now, you're gonna say I should step up and be brave
Pick a label by myself for myself
But it's you who wants so badly for me to own a label
To conform and find a community to belong to

While I struggle to leave these walls and my bed
Days after days, peeping outside from under the blanket
How do you not see the little details dripping from cheeks
And how do you so easily call them all the same?

Everything seems to be atop a scale
I don't understand the extremes
Most days, I step down from the scale
And watch others trying to put me in a category or a mark or a label

While I just want to occupy my space while I'm here
I don't wanna be shoved
I just want to be loved
No matter how I show up today
As long as I show up, anyway.


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