Con Artist

Apparently it all comes down to one thing,
This gigantic gender identity that feeds on me.
Maybe, if I knew how to write solely on love and sanity,
Everything would have been easier.
I wonder how many confessions would it take,
For me to touch this civilisation.
A man only wanted to see how I looked,
When his fist replaces the tight knot of a cheap halter neck dress,
On my neck.
My classmate only wanted to know if I knew how to read a car,
And embrace the promised masculinity that comes with it.
If I could be a human being and not a monster,
I could have done this job of playing hide & seek better.
A poem needs to be written without an ‘I’
With an eye of a Machiavellian child
Who whines about a past that never existed.
Since the day I was born, I have been trotting out the same stories,
To be fun and loveable
Because I never learned,
To braid the hair of my dolls perfectly,
To ride a bike like a hero.
And now I am paying taxes in form of bittersweet poetry
For a lullaby that I stole from a boy it was written for.
I tote out words to write a eulogy that people would kill to read,
A poet needs to die every night to fuel everyone’s exuberance,
So I lament them and this generation,
I lament because I fail to put the threads in the right place,
I lament because I have never tasted the truest form of pain,
I lament because people announced this life a waste.
Being the mirror image always gets tiring,
but some of us don’t have the privilege of being honest and naked.
A certain shape could save me like the castles save the monarchs,
But this body is a country of drought and darkness,
And I am too big to be a box placed in a warehouse of repressed desires.
Apparently, it all comes down to my illness, my insanity.
It all comes down to this gender identity, and being incapable of love comes with it.
To fit in, to exist, I break and break and break and break and then create
Until I identify as a con artist.

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

Featured image: Pariplab Chakraborty