I woke up drenched in a citric acid dream,
If we could listen closely we would know,
How our bodies are nothing but some crowdfunded
Museums of memories.
This winter I will grow younger,
Get more tender beneath the moss-covered walls,
All this just to be a monster in the end,
Lay down over my father’s ashtray
Licking off my mother’s freedom from the ladle.
Every season I come here just to be reminded
That I could never come back,
Every street has my name scribbled over it,
The wind carries the fragrance of my childhood,
Of my boyhood, of my victimhood.
It suffocates me.
I am not a fish in the aquarium anymore.
What are we supposed to do when we fail an exam we never appeared for?
How are we supposed to love our family when they celebrate our absence?
What are we supposed to do with the trees that were uprooted for being too big?
I know they don’t care about us, but I would like to believe otherwise-
I want to let them take me down, I am tired of lying.
Somedays violence rains over my stomach,
Like my father’s angry love,
I owe my body, I owe my drought to my mother.
Their closeted hate for my non-binary face sits quietly in my ears,
I can lie and tell them that I love myself and guilt trip myself for failing to.
Isn’t that what they expect us to do?
Isn’t this, being miserable, a way of paying for a body they gave us?
Some kids don’t learn to stand up for themselves because their mothers taught them not to,
Now don’t kill me if I fail to speak my mother tongue,
I was disowned by it even before I could try to learn it.
The dichotomy between being their worst nightmare and being their son laughs at me.
I am an oxymoron in my hometown, an alien in my house, and a stranger in my room.
But just a child with no gender in my bed!
My love for the world is not enough.
We are not enough
Our incapability of hate is going to get us killed,
So sometimes when I am too tired to go to the washroom,
I feel like dismantling myself,
I wish I could trade my queerness for a sunny childhood.
If I could, I would.

Pratyan Chakraborty is a poet and model in making, currently based in New Delhi. They identify as genderqueer homosexual and prefers any/every pronoun. Pratyan has previously been featured by Livewire, Gaysi Family, PoemsIndia, Skryf and other platforms. Connect to them on Instagram @pratyan_x 

Featured image: VecMes / Freepik