Poetry 2018 Longlist, Yash Chandra

What About Me?

A nail protruded from the examination table,

On which he was measuring me

From end to end.

One bygone light was making its attendance

Among twirling cobwebs,

A tired looking fan hung over me,

There was a maiden, standing with her friend.

 

“Ma’am, nothing will happen.

Have a look at these colours and designs,

Let me know to which you resign.”

A fat book eclipsed past me;

He threw the protruding nail into a corner.

 

He inked me with some tattoos,

Or was he trying to remember something,

I didn’t know.

“That is a fine print, ma’am.

You can come tomorrow. Thank you,” he said.

 

He took out a beast from the drawer.

Its teeth shone brightly,

I did not see this coming,

I could not afford a smile.

And here, he was, humming.

Within seconds, he fed me to the beast

Who tore through me, along my tattoos.

 

Awarding me with no time to recover,

He clamped me, in what looked like,

A giant sawing machine.

I writhed in agony, I trembled in pain

As a needle went through me.

He stretched and straightened me every time.

The humming did not see a pause.

 

“Here you go, ma’am. You may try it on.

Will it be cash or card?”

“Brilliant, master! I shall tip you for this beauty.”

After a zillion cuts,

And in a new mould,

Alas! I was, again, being sold,

To become a part of a new household.

 

The examination table is fit in its legs now,

The protruding nail lies abandoned in the corner,

Sure, it does not harm me.

Women and men, alike, come.

All have preferences, and all are heard.

Well, may I say one, as well?

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