a poem by Kiran Masroor
Yesterday, a memory I did not own came back to me.
I walked on, skin curled inwards to keep the story inside.
When my feet are covered in dust,
you scrub me red until I am clean.
I show you my dug-up heart, I say
Here. Do what you want with this.
The heart is naked on the table,
God holds His breath.
You trace your fingers over my delusions,
knead your palms into my sorrows.
I think I am close to being saved under
your aged hands when you breath out:
What is this?
What is what?
This, on the right ridge of the heart,
Why is it swollen with secrets?
Prophets that once danced before my eyes,
cry out the Heaven that is in them.
I cannot scrub you clean anymore,
The memory leaves me sick.
I try to throw up but find there is
no relief for the soul's indigestion.
"Clean" explores the innate desire for us to be validated by a culture/religion, and the dissonance we might feel if we were to be judged by someone of our faith because of our flaws.
Kiran Masroor is a sophomore at Yale University where she’s majoring in Neuroscience. On campus, she is in the performance group, TEETH Slam Poets, and she greatly enjoys writing about her Pakistani culture. She also runs a poetry account where she explores the intersection of written word, musical, and visual arts (@poemsbykiran).