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Vol. 2: 

On Identity


poem by Hariny V

you walk barefoot
you wear silks bordered with gold
and anklets of silver and rose
you cross your legs and keep away from the armrests
you sit next to books you are held away from
and look at me
silently asking
if I can do something about it.

you stand tall
you hide yourself behind shawls of lacquered lace
stitch tiny daisies into your pants
and sleeves
you fluff the pillows and walk out
like nobody is at fault
I ask you to talk to me
you reply with a stare that says
I am far and gone

you part your hair in the middle
let it grow wild
long past your bronze shoulders and
robes of creamy rice
you wear diamond rings
paint your lips
to run naked in young jasmine fields
you look back at me with shining eyes
and a smile that is buried in secrets and many lies

you are young and free
at least should have been
you are covered in cloaks you despise
fettered in chains with glitter and stones that pay a heavy price
you live between hands and words
that strike and touch you with no fear
you are too scared to look up
at me
and realize we are not too different
you and I

you live in worlds of snow
with a handful of pearls
you hide your wrists under strings of cloth
similar to your worn and tender breasts
you are the only one
that knows me
every inch and breadth
you trace a line on my cheek
whisper my name
wait and wait for me to
break your wounded cage

Anchor 1

Hariny is a 21-year-old writer who grew up amidst the thriving Dravidian culture and ancient temples in the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Newcastle University, UK. When there is no writing for the day, she can be found lost between the pages of fresh hardcovers or intensely focused over a pot of boiling pasta.

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