Juveria Tabassum writes about a woman who is unable to erase the wounds that have scarred her mind, body and soul.
This poem is a response to gender based violence against women
Blue and Pink and Purple
I’m perhaps the most colorful person you’ll know.
You see, I have jet black hair,
And, dim, dusky skin;
But on that vast stretch of brown
I have countless distinct islands
Of bright uncommon hues.
There a dash of grey,
Here a gash of pink
And, under my chin, a little mound of blue
And, on my chest, a deep sinful purple
And, between the whites of my eyes,
Hiding behind the dull brown of my pupils,
You’ll see, if you notice, the occasional fire in my soul.
I think it is genetic.
I saw the same colors, in different places on my mother.
I’d say colors have their own story.
A story that thrusts its arms, again and again
Into bandaged Time and bruised Memory,
And pulls out proof of its inevitable reincarnations.
So, every spot tells a tale
Like, the grey on my hand reminds me
Of two nights ago-
My back against the wall,
My face towards the chair
Trying not to see the man sitting in it
Trying not to hear the words coming out of him.
He tried to shove his cigarette stub right on my face
But, the smoke and tears, they fogged my view
and a sizzle on my arm-
Pain-that my salty tears couldn’t put out.
It had a sense of déjà vu
Like I’d seen the scene before
Some fifteen years ago,
In a different city, a different room.
The next day, I remember,
We went out for dinner, and he said "sorry"
And talked to me, about that night at campus
And he then bought me flowers and a bottle of perfume.
The glass bottle only made me shudder
I remembered the flowers in Ma’s room fifteen years ago
Moments before I heard the door slam,
Moments before I heard the sounds that still echo in my head
Every time I find them coming out of my mouth
Accompanied always with the shattering of some glass,
Or the snap of some belt
Or the loud zing of flesh hitting flesh.
And my mind goes back to that night on campus
When he looked at me, and said, “I love you.”
And the fire from my soul tries to burn that memory down.
I shielded it.
I shielded it with my bare body
And let my flesh turn canvas
For the bright colors to leave their reincarnated stories.
No, Time does not heal wounds.
It resurrects them.