Almost… not Quite

I spent my childness
Wearing princess clothes
Over bordered pin stripe suits
And I danced to a ballad
Written for people
Who would always be prettier than me
When the first hairs grew
Amidst a failed puberty
I decided on a war
And I fell in love
With every passing stranger who decided to look twice
Twice it took my breath away
Thrice, I was left writing poems that made me regret
Do you understand where we stand now?
Now, that the leaves have withered away?
I packed away my MAC
Bought with tiffin money I saved for years
The matte lipstick has become decoration
Of a lover’s lips
Someone I didn’t even dare to love
But, I cared enough to surrender myself to
And my mother tied me up
Three turns of the rope
As I laid in the garage awaiting the car
But, it never did come, and so I was released
Sans the madness that made me dance so
So, next time a jazz record came on
I played loud guitars and growled
Donned a leather jacket and stood behind
A group of men who decided that screaming at this girl
Who I still love, as a sister now
Was the perfect response for her short self trying to click pictures
I could never forgive them for that
But, hey I was being a man
So, at the 20th cigarette by the Ganges shore
While, talking to friends about love and lore
All while, all I could dream about was poetry and art
Was the mask I pulled
The matte lipsticks and concealers
The ruby red, and translucent
Were less of masks than my words became
Until I was laying across a man’s chest
leaving behind trails of lipsticks
Red makrs that went down the sternum
Right down to a place
Whose name I shouldn’t take
Censured myself to the extent
That outside the home of his
I smoked three cigarettes
As If I didn’t like the taste of sex
in my mouth, on my body, on everything
i wore the t-shirts, but, I loved drapes
So, every time puja came around I wore dhotis
Mom thought it was tradition
it was just being myself
I was never a woman
But, wearing something that flew so seamlessly with my body
Drawing art on my body
Writing poetry quotes acrossed malformed breasts
Highlighting features that they want to be hidden
Hey, I do have stretch marks
And scars from a leg badly broken
Who are you to judge?
And why do you think that I
After all this time would even care
Because I wear glasses and throughout school?
Because you decided grabbing my breasts was a good joke?
Non-sexual, jovial, brotherhood?
And I didn’t realise why it made me feel uncomfortable
Till now
But, I own myself more than I ever had
graded visuals, gradients which go from blue to black
Pieces of me decorated by a boy
Whose love often turned to hitting
And yet, I was happier than I was with you people
But, then I could never be the princess again
Dark umbrellas
Staunch shirts that hid me
behind layers and layers and layers
All mounting up to this shameless
Image of someone who is almost there
but, not quite
Not quite himself
I decided on love by the time I was 17
But, the 13 years kept pulling me back
So, when i shared my first kiss with a man
I congratulated myself on not making my identity a mask
For all these fears and aspirations
I had gathered over for years
So, you know what?
I will listen to Taylor Swift
As much as I listen to hip-hop
And angry ballads written behind garages
And like I danced the shimmy yesterday
While my friend was in the bathroom
And I will again
And I will wear my mascara because that is the only time I was myself
And I am no woman
I have never identified as such
but, I refuse to be broken idols
And I know you like imagery so take this
The diary bound in leather
had charred pages which threatened to reveal all these poetry
That were supposed to be hidden
but, I just flled ink in my fountain pen
I let love in
And love happened


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