My mother’s beautiful hands adorned in mehendi.
I’m the face of the painting
Adorning white walls,
The breath of a thousand men
A concoction on canvas.
A frightened sweep of the brush
A laughing agony,
Cigarette smoke, real
As they were eons ago.
But there lies a lingering hope
That eyes that might see
The face behind.
At the hands of the tribal, I was slayed,
At the hands of the dancing beast of the forest.
He tied rocks to my ankles and I couldn’t complain,
Tormented, I was, when they merged with my skin.
Over the moons, it pricked each vein.
It pained me so but didn’t bleed.
Finally, when the rocks fell in weary defeat,
I picked them up, clasped them in my palms
And struck my toes bloody.