In these fingers outstretched 
like ploughed  fields
            plugged        into variable tones

of mehendi green bangles, 
blades of grass overlap
into  a   d.i s cor dant      harmony 
That's the color they wed to 
in the old village 
by the banks

In these finger scales 
         that grow like scallops 
I inherit a thousand destinies 
that never became
The robbed joy of formation 
of curvature cut into flatness, beaten by a rolling pin
into a dimming delay 
Monotony with five hundred faces

At the age of 40
the women in my neighborhood
develop a strange sickness
Their eyes, kale and algae dotted wells become swirling echoes
Cleaved hearts hang loosley
like strawberries
on unearthed lips, reminiscent of a certain wholeness

At the age of 40
the women in my country
tend to drop like sticks, all at once, 
Their bodies talking of suffocation 
from too many
walls and too many dreams
None their own

And I wonder why no one talks about it
Why no one 
s ee s
And then I think of the nature of sickness
How when it occurs in prevalence 
We stop noticing the gaps
that have long been staring
at 
Us.

© Aakriti Kuntal
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20 thoughts on “At 40

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