‘Black’ by Aahna Jain



In the yellow light of the rehab,
She told me I could ask her for anything I wanted,
I ordered her to go fetch her dead husband
Which annoyed her less than I wanted her to be,
But I reminded myself I wanted lots of things,
One of which was her dead husband.,

She took me through the purple hallways for therapy
And all I could think about was that
The brown of her iris didn’t match the brown of her dress.
(Don’t judge me,it’s supposed to happen in books)

She said I could select my activity today,
And I was surprised that someone actually gave me choices.
My mental note:stop joking about her dead husband.

Writing had been my love before,
But it was too complex a task now.
Words seemed distant,calculated lines with calculated meanings,
I needed to be free and words weren’t going to give me that.

So I chose drawing instead,
Meaningless strokes and meaningless designs and meaningless meanings.
With little pink hands that held little pink syringe marks,
A box labeled ‘colours’ was opened.

I wanted to scream that colours were everywhere,forming our daydreams and crushing our hopes,
Not just in a stupid box.
Then reminded myself that I wanted a lot of things,
One of which was the lady’s dead husband.

But they only had broken crayons,
And holding one felt wrong
When you knew the other part was in there
Somewhere,waiting to be completed.

I couldn’t breathe suddenly,
For the box of crayons smelled of loss and separation,
Of pieces formed and never reunited.
I took it upon myself to make them whole again,
Spending the day taping them together,
The blue with the blue,the green with the green.

People thought I had undergone a breakup,
Or two maybe,for I understood the need to be together.
They didn’t know that it’s okay to lose people.
We’re designed that way,to love,to forget and to love again.

But when you break into pieces,
Like the crayons now safely tucked into the box,
You can’t stand up again on your own.
You have to have the other part.

Losing a part of yourself is not something that heals.
It is a gnawing ache inside of you to be you again,
And once you are broken,you can’t tape yourself.
The pieces are lost,sucked into bottomless holes,
Duct tape, out of stock and reach.

I dreamt of a shattered mirror that night.
When I bent down to pick its shards,
One of them got me in my foot
And crimson red-maroon blood oozed out.

I remember the long journey to the art room the next day,
The dreaded opening of the box,the searching of the crayons.
And sure enough I found it,a crimson red crayon taped with maroon.

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