Is it true that deluges fill a void
in your heart that many drugs fail to numb?
I have heard wolves crawl into my skin
and wither their way into my insecurity.
I have felt the novel shift of having a skeleton
and collapsing under the weight of it.
My mother dreamt of a night when I would speak in my slumber and,
I would tell her my secrets,
the ones I keep within the chambers of my wolves.
They are guarded, mother,
do not touch them, do not tap that door,
for the wolves will attack. They are not under my control.
But Vitriol is poisonous and he knows where I keep my key.
He hurls his canopy, caging me, succumbing me to sin.
It is not my fault, mother,
I was not under my control. My screams
my fears, I have yet not told you
that they are the reason for my silent nights and
they are the reason that you somnambulate behind me.
Remember that time when I dragged you down the river, mother?
The dirt under your nails chafed my heart and I will not,
I will not close that burn until you understand that
that induced drowning was not my fault.
I was not under my control.
My feet find their own path,
my mouth speaks its own mind, and
my tongue spins its own lies.
Forgive me, mother,
They too, are not under my control.
Paakhi Bhatnagar is a student from India and an avid reader of historical fiction. She is a passionate feminist and blogs about mental health and feminist issues. She has been recognized for her poem “India’s Balaclava” by the Indian Consulate, and her poem was subsequently published in the Postcards of India Anthology. Her story “Strangers” has been published in the Canvas Teen Literary Journal. She also writes for The Gulf News.