How Long Shall I Hide?

my body breaks the
coffin. the coffin
is not my size,
not my fit.


shall be buried
without my body.

i shall live more genders
than the number of desires
before i die.

of loving
beyond bodies

are words from a distant land,
distant from my body.

most lovers have only touched me
in a foreign language
and it still hurts

so i go back to shams
from whom i am learning

Queering it up

even if i must,
let me hide
in tenderness

for we know
that the summer sun
burns the plants

queering it up

who lives on your skin?
mine is covered
in the stolen from my mother

the market makes
only combed cotton
for me

hence i say,
is a misfit
on/in my body

does it fit you?

queering it up

will not wash
the blood on my skin

your violence reeks within me.
my father’s slaps are amplified

does the violence leave a stench?
urine, at times

me desire is despaired
in fear

skin is burning

and memory
does not have a home

queering it up

beard and lingerie
cannot be lovers

their destiny
was written
at the hands
of gender

this wall is my lover
for it is

my body hair
is me, this lingerie
is not mine

come, flay my skin
for, indeed, i have sinned

but remember,

my angry tears

will be love letters
to the wrongs

queering it up

histories guard
the entrances
to every

this is no home

queering it up

i have never worn
a plucked flower
on my skin

the fallen
is enough

queering it up


queering it up

the market
shuns the ‘delicates’

i am not as pretty
as the language of


there is no home to go to,
an alone bird takes the first flight somewhere
to search for home

no journeys can happen without a home walking with me.
sleep resembles home and when morning comes, the bed becomes an alien breast soothing me.

each home i have known has withered to angst and anger.
inacceptance is the nameplate beside the doors.
my family loves me when i am sanitised of my sins they do not bear witness to.
an entered body cannot call me home. i refuse to let them.
every body i enter does not feel home. there are no homes without doors. not even bodies. 

histories guard the entrances to every body.

“come back”, my parents say. they call me only in my dreams. 
unanswered calls tremble as vibrations in their pockets. “this is not a lodge”, my brother says.
i ask, “what is the rent to be paid?”
he walks away.

when i come home, i leave a lot outside the door,
hidden in shoes like the house key for an unreceived guest. 

home did not cry its loss of me. my brother did.

my mother, she cried when i entered again.
a friend asked her in secrecy, “are you happy he is home now?”.
she answers, “yes.”
“do you know he isn’t?”
mother answers, “i know. but time will help him.”

time then, is the only home.
time probably is an only home.

with and in tenderness, vulnerability and intensity

with love,

Shot by Sohini