Poetry

Ghosts in Me

A ghost in me – there resides a ghost in me

It comes out when I swim in lakes at evenfalls

So when a man sees my spine with evil eyes –

and bites his tongue with his cowardly teeth –

and lives in his head a dream of me in a bed –

It sucks his sinister blood like a moral demon

 

Another ghost in me – I give it a home as well

It leaves to sit in a corner if a nice man is seen

So when he touches my spine with tenderness –

and bites his tongue with his mesmerized teeth –

and lives in his head a dream of me with him –

It stays far away to watch me have a real man

 

One more slithers down my long unruly hair

It tears my robes in half if we see a new man

So when he holds my spine to lend me a hand –

and bites his tongue with his lecherous teeth –

and lives in his head a dream of me lying bare –

It pulls out a blade and rams it into his bosom

 

Oh! What a grace! There is another ghost in me

It follows men who walk behind my shadows

So when they put a teasing finger on my spine –

and bite their tongues with sins on their teeth –

and live in their heads dreams of mastering me –

It peels their spoilt skins and laughs with me –

screams as their guts hang from its harpoons –

ululates for their wives and sisters and mothers –

takes me home and sings me songs to sleep –

borrows my nightmares as I drowse – and –

screams as ghosts are not enough to punish men

 

 

~ Ira Roy

New Delhi, India

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