Young poets,
ever asked yourself in moments quiet –
as a wise man once prodded another –
“Must I write?”

Today, I did.

Must I write
of the taste that lingers clumsily
on Hatred’s bitter tongue;
of iron, rust, and salt?
Of a mother’s milk gone stale;
of children dying in cradles
marked by jingoism and war?
Of perfumed scents turned putrid?

Must I write
of the great battles fought by foolish mortals
on behalf of the Great Gods –
they who preached love, and in whose name
devotees arrange Carnivals of Murder and Rape?
Holy scriptures upturned;
every verse washed clean
by the blood of the pagans.

Or, must I write
of how I found my voice hidden
in the dregs of the potent mixture
of tears and alcohol,
to only lose it once more upon swallowing
the 5-tiered cake built on
body-shaming barbs,

Of finding it again
every time I put pen to paper and bled words –
a guttural spilling of thoughts and emotions
feverishly scribbled?

Must I write?

“Yes”, is what the pen replied.






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