Some days when my eyes sting as I peel an orange
Ma, I realise I am turning into you.
I bite my tongue and wonder, how would I come out to you?
When would you be capable of puking out all the hate,
That you have been eating for a long time?
And let me come to you so that together
We can make tender cobwebs of love.
From you I have learned to love men and ignore myself.
Ma, I have learned so much that now I can’t even crawl back to you.
With your name curved on my lips,
I have taught myself to do nothing without being asked or allowed to do it,
So late at night, I stand in front of the mirror with a measuring tape,
And ask the reflection to love me then I look at the ceiling and request God,
To allow me to be capable of being loved!
That’s when I realise,
Ma, I am turning into you.
My body, that came from you is finally rejecting
All the boxes given by people and turning into you.
With your red bindi, I am marking all the spots inside my body,
That make me a traitor,
And with your black sari I am igniting my femininity.
Ma, believe me, it’s not a choice.
I didn’t decide to do any of this,
But still I am turning into you.
I am turning into you because
My body is a cemetery of their versions of me
And it can only contain the brittle reflection of you,
This femininity inside me, came from your womb,
From your blood cells, from your sharp nails,
It has always been there,
And now it is growing as I am learning history.
History of you, history behind every slap that you gifted me,
History behind every scratch you gave me.
Now it is growing.
I am counting every teardrop that you have cried,
Counting the number of days you have blacked out,
To keep track of the politics and words that put weight to it.
It has always been there, Ma!
Now it is just growing as I am learning you.
When I sleep in your bed, beside you,
Pretending to be your son,
Ma, in your presence I stop feeling alone,
And I realise I am turning into you.
And I wonder, exactly how would I come out to you?
Pratyan Chakraborty is a budding poet currently based in New Delhi. They identify as Genderqueer Homosexual and prefers any/every pronoun. Previously they got featured by LiveWire, Gaysifamily, Skryf and some other poetry platforms.
Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty