by Sharmila Choudhury
When I was thirteen in seventh grade
Finishing my evening bath
My mother combed my hair and
Told me I was far too naive—
I should wear my heart in a pocket rather
Than on my sleeve. I suppose she
Read in a book somewhere, on a torn,
Crumpled page of what to tell
Your daughter when she reached
A certain age. I didn’t give
What she said
It wasn’t until winter, I turned twenty
I realized what she said was truth.
The sound of your voice,
An opium easing my troubles.
Taunting me in my restless sleep.
So I watched, helplessly, as you
Descend into a state of ennui with
The mere thought of loving me.