It’s A Lonely Existence

WhatsApp Image 2018-01-14 at 7.27.24 PM

Posted by Pallavi Kaul
bisexual, cisgender female
she/her

Artwork by Vanshika Singh

She’s 17 and sitting on a swing
in a quiet park with her friend.
And it happens.

The trees hide them
from the rest of the world,
so it seems perfect.
She looks at her friend,
staring upwards at the birds.

I’m bisexual.

Her voice is
soft, almost as a question,
sharp, almost as a challenge,
still, almost as acceptance.

She waits.

She’s scared at first,
terrified then,
but seconds pass and she knows,
she doesn’t care anymore.

Her friend gazes at her and smiles.
It’s okay.
I accept you.

But she doesn’t even hear her response.

She starts swinging,
slowly at first,
then high,
and high,
and higher,
trying to be one with the birds.

She knows it’s not okay.

She sees it in the eyes,
the apprehension,
the confusion
the hesitance.

But she keeps swinging,
and as cold air brushes her face,
she knows.
It’s not okay,
and she doesn’t care.

Anymore.

It’s a lonely existence,
she realizes.

 She was 14 and perched on the edge
of her parents’ bed.
Her hands were splattered with

pink, purple, blue,

And the sheet of paper
bleeding the colours
her heart bled in.

Her mother entered the room suddenly,
her gaze following the hands
of her daughter,
as she placed her paintbrush down.

The question on her lips,
inevitable.
Why this?

She took in her mother’s
wariness,
and raised her voice,
defensive,
defiant,

sure.
I support love.
I support those who love.
She spoke so convincingly
she almost convinced herself.

I’m straight,
just an ally.

Her mother smiled,
her shoulders relaxed and sagged.
Yes, you should be.

When the painting dried,
in a week,
she wrapped it up
in an old newspaper.

She shoved the neatly packed
secret
deep into her closet.
It would peek through
the flannel shirts,

but she pushed it further down.
She knew what she saw
in her mother’s eyes that day,
the question,
the disapproval,
the disdain.

She kept paintin
her heart’s colours,
silently slipping the newspaper clad
secrets
where they began stacking up.

She shoved them down,
because she knew
she had to.

Always.

 

It’s a lonely existence,
she accepted.

 

She’s 20 now and lying next to her,
sleeping girlfriend,
the soft snores echo within the walls
of their room.

She looks at the silhouette
and finds in her heart,
a feeling she must’ve read in books.

She disentangles their bodies,
quietly gets up and opens the curtains,
the morning light
shining

on the pink purple blue

on the colours of the rainbow
on the women holding hands,
all hung on the wall adjacent.
She gets under the covers
again,

her hands faintly brushing the hair
of the woman
who gave her a new life.

I love you.

She whispers
a declaration,
a certainty,
an affirmation.

Her girlfriend flutters her eyelids open,
wide awake now,
at the words spoken.

And I you.

Her voice is groggy with sleep.
She smiles lazily,
their arms looping into each other
yet again.

She finds the face of her love
impossibly close,
she can trace her freckles
with her fingertips.

She knows she will be okay,
because she sees it in her lover’s eyes,
the devotion
the affection
the surety.

She knows she doesn’t have to hide,
she knows she can love herself.
And she will find those who’ll love her.

For who she is.

They will never understand,

but some will.

It’s a lonely existence,

but it doesn’t have to be.


Did you enjoy this poem? Then you might also like this: Promise me

4 comments

  1. […] Posted By ryanahf  Artwork by Vanshika Singh                                       you assure me with gentle eyes and earnest tones, that i, your child, can do and be anything and everything. but amma, nanna, will you still love me so, when i tear apart the musty curtains? when i walk you through my dark nights and bleaker mornings? when you finally feel my heart weep? when i tell you that i don’t paint my future in pinks and blues, that i can love more hues than you know of, that your anythings and everythings cannot confine me, define me, promise me that you won’t see red, promise me you won’t dismiss me or deem me too young to know, promise me that you won’t tell me that kaleidoscopes are but mere playthings, that a seventeen year old shouldn’t try to build their life with oddly coloured thoughts, blink, but please, continue to dream of a happy ending for your child. Did you enjoy this poem? Then you might also like this: It’s A Lonely Existence […]

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