tongue—I learnt the bitter taste
of brutal beatings
passage of saliva helped me
swallow a b u s e
the wall of my teeth, gated
it opened to only chew
I didn’t know how to
mouth the word—a b u s e d
lips—soft, fragile flesh
soaked in saliva, blood
they said that I bite myself,
I felt the word—r o u t i n e
plaster my skin, pierce my flesh
I bit a bar of bathroom soap
thought its scent would cleanse my mouth
while my body bred buds of bruises
I learnt the subtle difference
between shaking and shivering
some woman called me v i c t i m
I learnt alphabets when his fingers
laced my body,
words when I was called names
Elderly persons called my flesh body a piece of art
A young man spat to my face
hung the tag—little red rotting hood over my breasts
his strong arms over my shoulders
grown, full bodied, unarmed,
now I tear more, chew less
bite, spit; swallow less.
Imitation is an off spring of art-
I b e a t the most.
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