appraising identity

why 176 cms? 60 kgs? — fucks to give?

my anatomy//structure is a wilderness, drinking
through the air, one part mulch, the other
a hybrid of gas-dreams.

why rate my brown-bread-skin through
its number of moles and grafts of love?

why try to measure the length&girth of my life through
an arbitrary number of years?

my freedom isn’t your sugar & flour ration
that you can scale and take away per your
desired capacity for consumption?

how do you measure the taste of my ilk,
my sun-settled eyes, the fight of my cauterized
heart?

how do you see and experience my queer body, in-
tact, (w)hole, sweet&sour&salty like the rim
of your empty shot glass?

why do i succumb to the standards set in my core
by the (ir)regularity of your burnished soul?

i shred figures and hopes, letting the well-paced,
untold story of its desire to take its toll, leaving me
to rot, with a rumbling disdain for this mirror of
your eyes, that cannot tell or realize
the plurality of my roles.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 29
(Inter)National Poetry Month

Edit: (Previous title, the value of existence) Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT (June 4, 2019), where I am hosting this week and I have shared a poem by Kamala Das for inspiration and acknowledgment.

 

13 thoughts on “appraising identity

  1. Kerry says:

    a rumbling disdain for this mirror of
    your eyes, that cannot tell or realize
    the plurality of my roles.

    You tell it like it is, brother! I applaud this immediate and needful poetic voice.

    Like

  2. Kestril Trueseeker says:

    Knowing nod and standing ovation for this declaration of refusal to be reduced to cliched parts

    Things aren’t great here in the U.S. either, but a lot more people are giving the middle finger to narrow ideas of acceptability.

    Like

  3. So many questions and so many roles, Anmol. Weighing, measuring and counting are not for me, unless I’m cooking. These lines caught my imagination:
    ‘how do you measure the taste of my ilk,
    my sun-settled eyes, the fight of my cauterized
    heart?’

    Like

  4. Cara Hartley says:

    As someone who has never measured up to society’s standards, these are questions that need to be asked and examined. I’ve taken to being quite snarky with those who would measure others by arbitrary qualities such as so-called beauty.
    Cie from Team Netherworld

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    “why do i succumb to the standards set in my core
    by the (ir)regularity of your burnished soul?”

    We judge ourselves by others standards. How crazy is that. Hopefully with age, comes wisdom as I find less and less I care what others think. Sigh – a heavy poem, really.

    Like

  6. Jim says:

    Followed by many, Anmol. Business based productivity, performance, promotions, and salary justification based on standards not necessarily understood.
    Thanks for hosting, I intend to comment on the poem you found but I’m running late for here tonight.
    ..

    Like

  7. Desire across the cultural grain must be such an incessantly difficult rain to walk through. “how do you measure the taste of my ilk, / my sun-settled eyes, the fight of my cauterized / heart?” With what measurement, whose calibration?

    Like

  8. why rate my brown-bread-skin through
    its number of moles and grafts of love?

    so many good lines here…this one of my favorites…very nice writing …keep fighting for your cauterized heart…let it love for that is all there is even in its pain…bkm

    Like

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