Spilt Blood

Spilt Blood
Illustration from Imtiaz Dharker’s book Over the Moon

This is a poem about someone Shanaya lost.

Sometimes, I’d be strolling around some place,
My own ignorance would hit me in the face.
Unannounced. And I’d be made painfully aware of my disability.
But that blindness, it would bathe me clean
of all sense of shame.
The rings I carried with me, have lost their sheen
because, I threw myself with scrawny might, yet definitive aim
at the beast I mistakenly thought was tame.
The beast that is my own scathing hope.
And I witness it submit to its fate
as I proceed, cord in tow, to hang it
from the sacred tree.
And now for the last rites.
You’re amused as you watch me,
hitch its corpse across my back and make my way
down the mountainside. Now stay
and watch as I hiss a spell to bind it to its grave.

He’s talking.
I am listening.
But the words are whizzing past me so quickly,
I can feel all the old scars reopening.
And I’ll be here exposed. At his whim to be dissected.
The edges of him begin to blur in a frenzy.
And I catch a glimpse of you leaning against the fence.
Casually. Smoke, preluding your existence.
Again, you look at me amused. A lopsided grin
smudged across your face. No consideration
for the fog around me. Or the fact that I am now choking.
I’m not shocked that you would do this.
But my core did fumble there for a second or two.
Because now I know who is what and what is who.
Are you certain?
If you are, I’ll let you be.
I wasn’t much more than a spare
to you anyways.
But I’m not sure it’s fair.
That you disappear while I squint at the little bits you left behind in the nooks and cracks of me.
You used to live there, remember?
In the wide, open sinews of you, I’d stand and yell. Remember?

We found that upturned, fractured skull
and we argued whether the slight lull
of words or the slices of muscle and bone
were better when we felt fear.
And you swore to be here.
Do you not understand?
As you’re sitting there drawing lines in the sand?
That even to him, I am an afterthought, something less than
Does the thought even cross your mind?
That maybe I don’t like being second in line?
That maybe, you’re not nature’s most sublime?
To me you were.
Now you are but a smear of a memory.
A husk left to dry in the light.
Deprived of that pitch black that we loved, but the world told us wasn’t right
You are now at the mercy,
Of the very thing you deemed unholy.
And whose fault is that?


Shanaya Sequeira

Shanaya calls herself a nihilist, because of which people assume she must be pessimistic. She has a tough time believing in the concept of love, and that adds to the image that she is ‘abnormal’. She describes herself as short and chubby and has cellulite on her arms and thighs, but she believes. in body neutrality, not positivity, because she likes the ugly bits of herself, and doesn’t think everything is beautiful or even has to be. She gravitates towards pieces of writing that are graphic, and shocking, and that don’t make any sense at first glance. This has made her a blahcksheep at home and everywhere she goes.


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