Pronoun Envy

– After Anne Carson’s poem with the same title.

I think it’s silly to pretend otherwise–
I truly am envious.
I know it’s petty and man-made, this seething anger
over words,
and that I acutely lack something transcendental
and wise.
What use is this nitpicking?
What use is this sooty burning of blood,
turning pallid what once knew rhythm?
But on nights
my body turns bait
and I thank the cab driver
again, again and again
for decency,
and mean it every single time,
I am disgusted by my own soppy gratitude.
On nights like these,
in the rape capital of the country,
I mutter His prayer,
read aloud the tales of heroic valour for pluck.
Invulnerable bodies,
ships parked on shores
threatening wars lasting years – over brazen desire,
catching thunderbolt in hand.
The virile adventure
of Men earning their name’s worth.
I roll the words around my tongue;
no story consoles now, no moral feels mine.
Only this rife throbbing of envy I seldom know what to do with.
The words sit heavy,
under all that import and clout.
I spit them out.

Dipanjali Singh is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in English at the University of Delhi.

Featured image credit: Enrique Meseguer/Pixabay