Stats say, one in every three girls will have experienced rape or sexual abuse in their lives
I am one of three daughters.
For most of my life, I have been told I am a work of art
My body a work of art a canvas, stretched far apart,
White. Clean. Pristine.
My body is a canvas
That was once used to experiment
To comprehend feeling prowess.
So instead of calling me art
You can call me an experiment.
techniques used to paint my body
paint splatters, smudging, finger painting and scalpel yielding
not to forget the embossing.
none too smooth strokes
as if all left of the brush was the wood it came with
digging deep into the skin it etched across
hands, greedy to have found a body to feast upon
fingers, holding hands above my head in an iron clasp
a new way to finger paint i guess
textures and the sound of nails scrapping on a blackboard
ringing in my ears : art is not just to see.
and one cigarette burn on my breast.
refuses to go away.
on patch of skin burnt for eternity
does not fade away.
My body is an artwork
that struggles to fit in
it has no art movement that would take it in.
Maybe all it is , is a failed experiment
They never really raped me you see
They, stopped before it got too bad
they stopped, before it got too bad?
the two men who assaulted me
never got to finish what they began with
you see i was “lucky”
to have gotten away before they finished what they started
lucky to have them leave ONLY their signatures all over me
lucky to see their faces every time the man i love gets close to me
lucky to see them clearer than any dreams i see
lucky to not know where my real ends and their hands begin.
My eyes see them more than i see my own reality
days dont feel real until i see a part of them and
nights dont seem too complete till i feel their hands all over me
every part of me
painting , my skin every shade of attack
covert, insidious, invisible dripping paint
slowly poisoning every man i see.
faces blending into traces of outlines
moving, welding into the faces of these men : these two men
My PTSD, they call it
has turned me into a masochist.
the pain, only sign i exist
i guess i am addicted.
relieving, painting my own skin over and over again
i cut and bleed i cut and bleed i cut and i bleed the red
just another color
another painting on my skin
Painting the same memory. Over and over again.
Till i question if i can ever be sane again
Till i question if i can ever love again
Till i question if i can be loved again.
My body is used to abuse.
an artwork on display
an abstract to accept or throwaway.
Maybe all i need is to love myself again
maybe i need to learn to paint again
let myself breathe again
stand back and really see myself again.
my paint my story my scars
and all of me,
my body is a masterpiece.
it was never meant to fit in.
I am a spoken word poet and the co-founder of a spoken word community in my city in India. I have been writing and teaching poetry across the city in the past year, talking about things that are stigmatized, learning from my own experience, I think poetry can be a powerful tool of expression when it comes to healing.