body stories (part i)

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My palm

Holds memories too distorted and labeled

For me to make sense now, but they

Arise out of my skin sometimes:

Like the tense muscles smooth skin of my mother’s back as I massaged her on her bed (yes I used my palm more often than my fingers because I liked to feel her warmth fully, absorb it fully on a bigger surface area)

Like the coarse sheets the soft blanket that I held onto after a nightmare, after a nightmarish day, after a nightmarish night, after the image wouldn’t erase even from under my eyelids

Like the sweat of his palm as he handed me change for my 100 ruppee bill but made sure to rub his wet carefully on this palm, so I’d look around the marketplace scared, suddenly ashamed to be alive

Or like the insides of her thighs the soft the flesh the stubble the heat coming out of her going through my palms and spreading through my entire body and coming to rest under my vagina which beat lub dub faster than my uneven heart

Like my baby sister’s hand that I clasped tightly while crossing the road afraid of her existence afraid that he would come from left or right or above or from under the earth to rub his – or like the back of her head when I carry her across the road after envisioning him rising from under the earth to touch her

Or like Her idea or light or power or whatever it is that keeps me raising these palms to pray– like trying while sitting idle on my prayer mat to catch any hope She tosses my way

Or like her fingers tracing the lines on this palm tickling me here and stopping there to draw a line that connected my broken palm line to her heavily ingrained one


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