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Two Way Streets

At this point I do not know what started before;
The love or the pain;
Maybe it was all too familiar since the beginning
Maybe it gave me the feeling of home in its embodied ugliness
Maybe the shadow cast over relationships was gray with knowing

I look back and think about all those years
Spent in the narrow streets of other worldliness
The ones that brought me closer to my grandparents
The ones that were better under wraps
I remember the faded white walls and carpeted floors
With the Mughal prints and wooden detailing
They were much too colorful for the emotions surrounding them
It was then, that I knew I wasn’t in the right place

One would think a journey that old must feel like gold
But even the most caressed souls lose their shine, I’ve been told
There was a bittersweet taunt in the food in the house,
A gloating evanescence in the heart of each spouse.

Two families under the same roof, four granddaughters
Yet the middle child was Grandmother’s favorite. With her fire,
She could paint the town red if she wanted to;
There were worries about a suitable groom but no talks about the never-ending doom
That resided under her pillow when she coddled herself with touch-me-not fears
I could describe her shadow’s tender presence if you asked me to,
I could lay out her insecurities on a platter if you asked me to,
I could tell you about the nights her anxiety peaked if you asked me to,
I could talk about her hair, her inability to not care;
I could talk about the sun, the moon, the beauty in the world
But I will not
For it would hold no match for the anathema she was in her own head.
Families, they say, have a role to play in your other relationships;
Hers did too.

Both the men in her lives – they sound alike.
Egoistic, FUNNY, level-headed, FUNNY, disrespectful, FUNNY;
It’s almost as though the humor is meant to compensate for a lack of better upbringing.

I want to write down galaxies in their mouths,
So only stars will come out of their abuse,
Wrapped like a puzzle, like a ruse
I want to teach her that the glorified scars she carries
Aren’t only hers, I inherited them too.
I guess we both don’t know how to stick around for happy endings.

But let me ask you this,
Were you there when she frantically searched for her medicines?
Her emotions almost scattered like the grains of sand on a hot Sahara day
Or did you sit and call her a p***y
Isn’t that the origin of your being too? A womb.
The coming together of many generations to give birth to a? that’s right. P***y.
Is it wrong to recall you this way? WAS (emphasis) it wrong to recall you this way?
they warned me about you and the likes of people like you
in our home, they call you “bad news”.
Your skin would peel to the ground if you knew the plethora of love resting inside her;
It’s the kind that could heal the inner loneliness you impose on her.
Tell me – HOW you sleep at night,
Tell me what goes on in your head,
Tell me she’s a tiny part of all that catastrophe that takes place in there,
You wouldn’t, would you?
Because just like that, you were and then you weren’t.
And just like that,
She used to trust and now she doesn’t.
You see, we’re going in circles yet again.
So, tell me if this is how you feel?
Tell me if we must accept defeat.
F*ck, just tell me it’s a two-way street.
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Submitted on April 05, 2021

3:09 min read

Bhavneet Kukreja

Bhavneet Kukreja is a Psychology/ Political Science double major graduate from the University of California, Irvine. more…

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