For people who hurt (from) others

*a spoken word piece that probably needs some work as I’ve never really done spoken word….so I’ve been blogging about beauty and dove and I promise the third post is on its way. in the meantime, I… needed a new creative outlet that involves some sort of screaming into a pillow. or a mic. or something.

I wanted to hurt you. Last night
I wanted to remind you that
I could hurt you
Like you hurt me
Like I hurt you
Like you hurt me
Like I hurt you
Like you hurt me

In the deepest possible ways

you wanted to hurt me. Last night
I learned you wanted to hurt me and
couldn’t let me l(ea)/(i)ve in peace
until you had.

You wanted to pu(ni)sh me away
Because you couldn’t punish me away
Because someone had ripped the words “goodbye” and “good riddance”
from your throat and given them instead to me, bloody and raw:
and I wasn’t sure if I should use them with you this time.

But I understand – someone or something
had sewn your lips together with steel wool
and I, blind to your muteness, but keen to your pain
but blind to the hurt I inflicted or the role that I played,
until I could bear no more of you
and used a word you’d been trying –
dying to say:



(I’m sorry but someone had to say it first
And it wasn’t you, no matter how much you believe that to be true.)

but when your tongue finally grew exasperated, angry, and deadly
with steel cutter edges  to slide into me,
to slice into the threads of my voice
to silence me, I already had silenced myself.

I had already pulled away – still I felt the edges
of your steel-grey malice sharp and cruel
reach into my mouth
and twist my tongue out – as you so often have done before.

See I knew long before you,
and long before any of this,
that one of us would have to leave

There is a trail of emails and conversations stretching back years where I highlight my (mis)apprehension in talking with you. When I talked with you
I could taste the toxicity between us on my tongue –
When winter was breathing into my lungs –
spitting out frost and ice, I had told you:

One two, unbuckle my shoe

Three four, shut the door


Five six, turn to kiss

Seven eight, poker face


Nine ten.                             (Shh.)


Lies                        on a whispering wind                                    (yours. and mine.)

braided through my black hair;

you had to bend to breathe them (back) in, I

saw them curl like smoke, and swirl,

fogging the mirror of your

blue          eyes                 brown eyes

say        love me

(or I’ll kill you)                                                        (or I’ll die)

Delhi monsoons left the taste of rain-dust in my mouth;               (I oscillated) (I wasn’t ok)

the promise of sweet-bitter-ashy contradictions –  विभूति  (vibhuti/holy ash) on my tongue.

I swung                                between continents, between cities, between

my hands in yours, warm, or catching warmth between my         thighs

I reached.                                                                                                                               To touch.

Your re[fle(c)sh]un.
But then I stopped.

Your flesh.
But then I stopped.

But your shunning
                                                        was garbled though I thought I felt it or heard it and I wanted out.

I stayed for you. And for me. And because I didn’t trust myself to hear correctly, or for you to speak honestly.  To hear you better, I asked more questions, and made your scalpel tongue ache to knife into my brain.                  I felt you dissect
me, cut
                                                                                                                        me, turn me gory, until my
                                                                                                                        wickedness and yours spilled
                                                                                                                         and bubbled
                                                                                                  over the top
like champagne,


I left for me, for my peace –
Mind. Mind you, your tongue followed,
drilling holes
into my hippocampus
seeking vengeance
in the pieces of my broken mind.
You  didn’t think twice about it. Last night, I learned
you wanted it.
You wanted my tears spilled for your sake
hot on your stake,
and on your cross of loneliness,
and for my mistakes
because I had left you (alone) too late.
Because I hadn’t given you space
soon enough in the way you needed it, defined it,
behind your (sewn) lips,  in the hidden crevices of your brain –
so I had stayed and done you wrong, twice now.

You wanted your vengeance, and last night,
I wanted mine. Mind
your step, I said.
Last night I used a sword, steel coated and coated still with
the remnants of your broken, bruised throat,
the muscle and tissue decorating it reminding me of violence –
and evidence of your stolen words, now pushing and pulsing against my lips:
Good riddance.

Good riddance.

Good riddance.

And… more violence,
old violence,
aching, ancient violence .

Do you remember, do you remember?

Do you remember when I, backed into a corner
hurled a word, like an
अस्त्र (astr) ,

(A missile charged with the power of an incantation)

desperate in defense

in the general direction of your face?

Do you remember how I shattered you?

Did I tell you: It felt powerful?

Did you know, I understood I had wronged you, once, then?

Do you remember the ways in which you wronged me?

Did you acknowledge I did it in self-defense?

But I can burn you again. I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.
I can cut that razor-sharp, steel cutter tongue out of your head
with the sharper edges of my words.
My tears are worth more than your desire to hurt me.
And I can spit fire to sear you rather than spill tears over you –
because I have no need for shields
When my words can slash yours – slash you – piece by fucking piece

threatening me, you said.

Thrice, now, I have wronged you.
3 times too many.
3 times the detail of pain and horror I know I can inflict.
(Do you even recognise how you wronged me at all?)

Last night
I wanted to remind you that
I could hurt you
Like you hurt me
Like I hurt you
Like you hurt me
Like I hurt you
In the deepest possible ways.
but you already knew I could.

This entry was posted in Mental Health, poetry, Thoughts on Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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