Tag Archives: women and rape

Watching Over, The Night

 

The flesh of the night hangs loose, stale,

Around the cryptic cities where I roam.

My skull, the tautness of my skin,

My bones, joints, the fatty cells

And flesh in between, the conduits of my blood

All dried, nibbled on, burnt away,

The pitch dark sky creeps, moonless,

Laughing with its vicious fangs.

 

Glowing was the night as we had soaked in

The sweetest breaths of her descent.

The night had shone in our bodies.

The two of us, young lovers, brimming with moonlight

In the city bus, gazing from the window

At the luscious asphalt sky.

We were returning home from a feast of a film

The flawless, vital light of the night wrapped us

Wandering, shadow-like.

 

Nearby somewhere, that night, black owls screeched

Serpents crawled over us, coiled around me in

Vehement strokes and shoving. The window

Of our moon-watching banged shut, inside the bolted bus

The smothering, the cussing, the shoving

Bathed me in blood. Far into the night,

The pallid moon crooned feverishly.

They kicked away my body, and

That of my bleeding lover boy.

Together, in the naked city streets

The pestilence of death hovered,

As we moaned—ragged, rickety, forlorn.

 

The nation adorned me with a name, ‘Nirbhaya’,

‘The Fearless’, a martyrdom I never really wanted.

I slowly died, my music died out in the hospital room.

The tongue of the moon licked away

The residues of my rotted flesh.

My blood crystalized. My parents kissed me between

The dead veins of my forehead, and burnt my body,

Or whatever remained in the name of it.

 

Stripped off the flesh, skin and bones,

My arid spirit roams, a nightmare

In the wavy, tangled wind.

Thump, thump, thump—my unseen footsteps

Crush the dark night’s crevices

I am loved much where I belong now,

Sheltered, in the dense canopy of the sky.

Deep inside, I bleed every night,

I wander, in the dark womb of the cities

In the dead of the night, I whisk and burn,

Speed across buses, autos flaring with huge flashlights

I know—somewhere inside every city’s dark trenches,

A woman is breaking into million shards.

My molten essence strolls and stomps,

Whispers my story in wrinkled corners,

Every woman’s living nightmare.

Footnotes:The poem originated from unfathomable pain, remembering the shameful ‘Nirbhaya’ incident of gang rape in New Delhi, India, in December 2012.