Poem | Bhuvi Gupta

addenda (or why my love, i am not docile)
Girl Searching Soldier by Banksy
Source: stencilrevolution.com

to come back to the point,
i know i should've learnt early
not to be too much trouble
but i [never learning my place]

scratched revolution
into the walls at home
demanding the love that was due,
broke a pane
when taught a lesson in containment

you see,
there's something in me
that didn't learn
to be content with my lot,
always fought,
the quiet propriety

of living too close to neighbours
[middle class safehouses
organised by family name]
in an apartment
built like a panopticon
with an absent centre
and "too many cats"

perhaps i inherited it
like Subhadra's son
listening to my parents converse*
while still in my mother's womb

*[something i've often wondered
is it still a conversation if it's a device
a soliloquy:
bravery on the battlefield
simply another way of taking
from women]

her quiet desperation
at what she knew was now her lot
making my tiny fingers curl
fists inside her swollen belly

[love, i've told you i
was born ready to fight,
though every time i tell you,
you still look surprised]

she was categorical
her first child, she knew
would be hers
a daughter [though brought into the world of men]


always a difficult child
she tells me
i refused to keep the date;
i was due on her birthday,

but they extracted me forcibly,
three days later
[include here a footnote by a medical anthropologist
on how easy it is to cut open a woman's body]
despite her protests

even then she must've known
or so i've come to think
that the first love i'd give up
would be hers,
with her [would be] my hardest fight

the point of all this,
simply being
i've noticed you're always
quick to make a case
and while i do enjoy
a compelling argument

i ask only that you be fair
and afford me a little history,
while you're busy
erasing your own

i wish i too could do it
[a bit of cauterising here
a convenient proviso there]
for after all these years of fighting
i still bear my father's name


but it was never going to be easy,
this taking back of what was mine
[rights are never given,
someone, somewhere has had to fight]

...so love, if the shadows lengthen around you,
remember, it's because you are light

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading work on the Sunflower Collective: nice to see the poem here :)