Journey of a Poem by Aishwarya Roy

Girl Reading, Vase of Flowers, 1922 - Henri Matisse
Girl Reading, Vase of Flowers, 1922 – Henri Matisse

My poem is lactose-intolerant.
It’s a baker allergic to flour,
A depressed comedian,
A theatre kid with social anxiety,
Who works in customer service.
My poem is un undefeated irony.
And what if over the years,
It has fallen slightly in love with pain

โ€” ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ.

My poem smells of Bhopal’s methyl isocyanate.
It stands beside Marsha P. Johnson
And does a drag-dance
In the Stonewall Riots.
It’s a young Palestinian boy
Wearing his dead father’s shirt,
Fixing a tattered teddy bear,
With cotton leaking out, like blood.
Being political was never a choice,
Because my poem has seen children
Playing with bricks, bones, guns
And has grown out of red aluminous soil

โ€” ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ, ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.

My poem doesn’t look pretty,
With incurable sores of dictatorship
On its innocent tongue.
It cannot romanticize Van Gogh’s paintings
Plagued by psychiatric illness,
But peels oranges and tears leftover bread,

โ€” ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ.

My poem is overweight,
Trying hard to fit within the 2200 characters,
As God and Adam try to hold hands
In the Sistine Chapel;
๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฆ.
It lives in the next Auschwitz,
And creates art on algorithm-based feeds
That feed on simultaneous sponsored ads for

โ€” “๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜บ ๐˜Ÿ๐˜š ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ด” ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ “๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ 3 ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด”.

On days my ideas fade out like a lightroom’s vintage film,
On days my words don’t fit after the prolonged maternity leave,
On days my metaphors are not a trending hashtag, but a mere clichรฉ,
I close my diary and wonder,

โ€” ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ?

Aishwarya Roy