What Would You Have Of Me

What Would You Have Of Me

If I am to open, as you would say, I cannot halt the visions
of violent beginnings,

birth and death,
first sex that peels me like a fruit.
Plugging in a machine, unplugging a machine,
splitting the atom,

running out of breath.

The window that refuses to unlatch. The door
I cannot find the handle, the last time
I saw my mother, my father, the last time I saw
a man shot he was

opened, spilling out of himself, not the way I spill out of
jeans, tank tops, panties, I open these legs

to engage and release, burden myself and be reprieved.

I open bottles, I open drawers, I open
my mouth to utter the words the therapist says will

open me.

A trunk, whose air has grown musty,
ripe with stagnancy, sealed off from time needs be
lifted, that lid, removed from its soft bed and left to hinge
on hopes that squeak.

But here, you say I should open.

So give me your hands.

First published in The Machinery India 2017. This is its first time appearing on this blog or anywhere else


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