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Chessboard

Ananya Gupta

Monochromatic play, my chessboard;
Is a slice of equality, for ages,
Which you haven’t savored.
The dark pieces welcome you,
Without expecting a greeting in return,
The game begins, but oh!
It’s nothing like you’ve played before.
Wait!
The black goes first,
Moving two blocks ahead of the pull,
The unusual gravitation of suppression,
It stands firm , his feet,
Pressing against the mockery,
The insults, fading
Into the loud cheer from behind,
So, Wait!
Your vanity ripostes immediately,
Occupying my dark blocks,
Encroaching our freedom, unapologetically
My rook trumpets with valour
Because we cannot be stepped upon day after day,
Our crushing self-esteem smoothing the creases on its own,
The creases from our crumpled existence.
Unheeded, my knight glides across the board,
Carefully tracing the letter L,
L for love, L for live and let live,
But your L is a suffocating lie,
As white as your skin,
So stop, because;
“I can’t breathe, kin”.
You warn us to step back, your eyes,
Reflecting fear for the first time,
Your Highness is unsettled,
By my Queen’s buoyant force,
Thumbing down your domineering persona,
Floating on black waters of freedom,
Freedom of color, of speech , of expression.
You pour rock salt on my waterbed,
Waiting for it to change color
But I only move forward, no backward,
Throwing my melanin like confetti.
You take me lightly and step aside one block, but;
I already slid you my plea seeking an explanation, so please;
“Check!”
Our protests enrage you, you retaliate,
Extracting life out of our allies,
But here comes my knight in shining armor,
To paint the white squares black,
To sing the songs we wanted to sing,
To roam the streets we used to seer,
To reject the apology, we always longed to hear,
We waited for your letter of pardon,
A pardon for the searing tyranny and hate,
But your defunct postman never made it to our door,
Scrapping your slight chance of even a draw,
Don’t even try, now it’s too late
Dear friend,
“It’s a Checkmate!”


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