Meenal Jhajharia

kids under broken skies

the sky breaks a little,
everytime i ask for help.
give me bloody signs,
to seal my smiles with.
everytime i begin to stand up again,
I start asking the sky to
break into a wind and put me down.
because the ground helps me feel my skin,
it’s still breathing if it gets bruised, right?
everytime I try to wrap my arms around me
I leave a cavity,
because longing is being alive?

some children grow up
thinking love is a reward
the kind you need to earn,
being yourself is
not enough,
because you don’t deserve it unless you prove yourself.

some children grow up
thinking empathy is a favour,
because I’m supposed to be
strong enough,
to hold it all together –

some children grow up
knowing boundaries as privileges,
because I’m supposed to retrace them
to suit every passerby
until i rub them out of existence.

some children don’t grow up,
because the mirrors
in the eyes of caretakers
announced that they were born
as grown ups.

sometimes i let people pull and push
like a thrift store door,
because as long as they keep flowing
the entrance light glows.

sometimes i let people stab and survive,
to remind me of touch and tears
against flesh and forlorn.

sometimes i wander off
to the edge of the world
waiting for something.
you know, the kind of things
that kids expect
when mothers look away.

the kind of things,
my sister asks me before sleeping,
the kind of reassurances
that rot if you name them,
burn till you crave them;
you know, those kind.

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