Tuesday, 3 January 2017


by Vinita Agrawal

The lake has entered my mind 
A thin, tired saucer of water
flesh colored
as big as the key to the deadlock of thoughts.

I'm not decent.
I'm a forceps birth, untouched by the doctors 
or by nurses.
Not rejoiced over.
I made my mother cry inside bottomless nights. 

I'm the unheard wail inside every well.

I've seen glow worms glowing greenly
under thin brown skin
beaten black and blue.

I've seen a rib cage crushed to powder
under the white thick heels of shoeless men
drunk on their maleness.

I've seen my mother
who cried herself to faint sunrises
inside thick bottomless nights, die.
Crushed by my torture
of my bleeding parts
needing forceps again
needing clinical touch, again

Needing no touch, again.

Such a soft lake this is,
this existence...
but you made it so hard.
All I was here
for was some honest to goodness love.
The color of rain.

And I would have bestowed
life to grass
outlines to mountains
shine to leaves
just for love.

But you taught me the language
of blades and wounds.
You taught me silence 
as vast as the time it takes for an ocean to become the sky.

Now the flesh colored, tired lake
has entered my mind.
Filled me with a desire to drown.

I shall return when allowed to speak.
When glow worms no longer glow greenly 
beneath thin brown skin beaten black and blue.
When sixteen is no age to die.

Until then let me be reborn as an annelid 
cling lovingly to soil
know the intimacy of give and take
know the wind for what it's worth.

* * * * *

Author of Words Not Spoken(Brown Critique/Sampark) and The Longest Pleasure (Finishing Line Press, USA) and The Silk Of Hunger ( AuthorsPress, Delhi), Vinita Agrawal is a Mumbai based, award winning poet and writer. She is the Contributing Editor for www.thewomaninc.com. She won the Gayatri GaMarsh Memorial Award 2015 for literary excellence, NJ, USA. Her poems have appeared in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Pea River Journal, Open Road Review, Stockholm Literary Review, Poetry Pacific and other national and international journals. Her poems have been widely anthologized in Indo-Australian compilations. She was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011, awarded first prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2014, commendation prize in the All India Poetry Competition 2014 and won the 2014 Hour of Writes Contest thrice.  She has read at SAARC events in Delhi and Agra at Hyderabad for the U.S. Consulate to celebrate Women Poets Of India, at Delhi for Delhi Poetree, and at Mumbai for Cappucino Readings. She can be reached at https://www.pw.org/content/vinita_agrawal or at www.vinitawords.com

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