Anti-Body Poem – by Yamini Krishnan

by TBLM

Have you ever tried
to slip out of your skin?

Not in the way
that means sad girls
and nights of warped mirrors
shoulders shrugging into themselves—
this is not a poem about my body.
Can a poem secede from
the hands that write it?
I am welded to myself,
to my ones and zeros and chipping
nails and I dream of being elsewhere—
of stepping out of flesh
without anything hanging
off me. A poem I read said bodies
were made of stardust and most days
I want to dissolve into nighttime
like ash or dried leaves in a fist—
something without fingers, something
with flight. The boy says he agrees
with this feminism-sheminism
until it goes too far, and I want to
know if he’s ever tried to detach
from his feet. Sometimes I
want to put my breasts in a box,
hips and thighs in the Godrej
cupboard for some hours
of nothingness until I’m ready
for the world to see me as a woman
again. But things do not
disappear when you stop
looking at them and I will
sit contemplating loudness,
hemlines and making my voice
smaller. To exist within flesh
is to be wriggling constantly—
to coat myself in red-brick
dust and other people’s words.
This is not about my body,
but look at its audacity. The way
it paces around the living room,
and how it never picks up its shoes.

***