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Thoughts From A Disruptive Juvenile Poet

I am from girls too young or too old
and boys exactly my age
From Disney frocks
that I would gladly tackle someone in
I am from Bloody Knuckles and Barbie Dolls

I am from makeshift tutoring sessions
that subject me to several hours of torture
From the concentrated dislike of bananas and brain masala
and of a brother that would eat both without a fuss
I am from “sharing is caring”

I am from rope we scavenged and hung on trees
that only one person was able to climb,
I am no-rules soccer
From the inside of a pink plastic playground tunnel
staring up at new names carved in
(I could never go on top)
I am from dry, hot tendrils of sand that would find their way into our shoes

I am from lip sync videos,
stamped with the word “regret”,
From neon pool noodle fights in dark basements
and hide-and-seek in apartment building stairwells.
I am from vlogs made before vlog was a word

I am from playing Mafia at three A.M. with my cousins
on  floor littered with pop in styrofoam cups and chips in plastic bowls
From midnight quests to get McFlurries
with neither a care nor licensed driver
I am from trying to fit everyone in the same photo

I am from punches to the gut
(He was a black-belt. He should’ve handled it.)
From being convinced that it did matter who started it
despite what the adults said
I am time-outs that simmered my scorching anger into a empty feeling of numbness

I am from words written
and ripped
From nouns drawn
and clipped
I am from words burning a hole in my throat
and yet I can’t say them aloud
for the fear that I might drown in their heaviness



I am from a scratched metallic purple Gameboy
and blowing into cartridges to make them work
I am from being introduced to GTA V
and gleefully running over people with cars
I am from several editions of Just Dance and Mario
but not a single one for Call of Duty
I am from a sleek shiny PS4 that now sits underneath the television screen

I am from getting ready for Skype calls
that would freeze in the middle
From packages wrapped in packing tape
tinged with the scent of comfort
I am from dresses that only fit me

I am from seeing a newspaper article
and becoming afraid of the zoo
I am from seeing friendly ghosts on television
and not so friendly ones in my closet
I am from knowing that brain cells die at the age of five

I am from bangles made of brightly coloured glass
that would always be used against me in fistfights
I am from Eid festivals and fairs
lined with stalls of jewellry, clothing and mehndi
I am from tangles that brought tears to my eyes when brushed

I am from punches
that I soon learnt to repress
And knowing that it did matter who started it
despite what the adults said
I am time-outs that simmered my scorching anger into a frigid feeling of numbness

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