focused photography of blue ceramic bowl

(TW: this work contains mentions of abuse)


His hands land color to my cheeks.

It’s like Holi again and we are both ten years old. I am running and he’s chasing me all around the house, his fists overfilled with gulaal. No matter how fast I run, he runs faster. He catches up with me and rubs the colors luxuriously all over my face, not sparing my hair, poor. I cough, spit and spew as chemical dryness spreads inside my mouth, candying my tongue the shade of cosmetic green. I look horrified and he can’t help but giggle at the pitiful sight in front of his eyes.

His hands land color to my cheeks, humiliating red. At that moment, I feel peachy tinkles and melanic combustions burst across my eyes as I look up at his firm hand in love, so in love. “A bother touches me”, I place my palm on top of the back of his hand. “You remind me of my dead lover.”


The first pea from the pod falls and my lover hasn’t come back to me; the icy words which blow candles on my birthday every year have started to melt – if it isn’t his kissable breath warmed by ignorance, I don’t want it. He opens up sparrows in my mind, sorrows too, but I want the discomforts of him settling above the aches of my ovaries – embracing the now hollow shells as a reason. I have never had a colorful love life, his hands didn’t leave much room for happiness. Each time I told him to touch me, he would cover me in black and spill me around like his daily tea. He adored me, he said he was addicted to me, he said he was obsessed with me, he said he couldn’t stay away from me. Even the day he died, he kissed parts of me I didn’t want him to. Maybe that’s why he had to die.


The rest of the peas – rotten and alike, follow the suit of the first one, falling with a thud in a bowl full of freshly peeled pods. With each thud, I am reminded of how desperately I wanted him to break up with me. We were inseparable , we were lovers, then he became someone damaged beyond recognition, dead in every sense deemed romantic..

I removed his hands from my red cheeks, rubbing my cheek against his to transfer the color of humiliation and lost love, I don’t want to be found ever again.

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