I Shed

It is a snake-ish existence with which I address myself.

My walk-in displays the skin I shed.

The one I wear for him is a deep shade of red,

lusty, sometimes bloody, the colour of the wild.

The one I wear for her is a spotty blue,

trying to bring in the calmness she so desperately lacks.

The one I wear for the old woman in the park

is a stocking shade of pink to remind her of her youth.

The one I wear for my brother is a reliable blazer black

to make him realize my shoulder pads would always exist for him.

I wear a green sari for the in-laws

to represent the inescapable fertility cage they’ve put me in.

I wear a shade of white for everyone else in the world

So that they can paint me as they see me.

But for my mom,

I turn myself bare and see her eyes accept me as I am.

With no skin to shed,

It is with her I find my humanity.

-Aneri Shah