untangling the pleats

by 20:16 0 comments
6:53am: 
I’m on my way to school, 
wearing the same grey plaid skirt 
that I’ve worn since the past 7 years, 
I untangle the pleats,
one by one,
my heart tangles a little. 

7:43am: 

I sit in the assembly
we’re discussing laws today, 
right to life, 
right to freedom of speech and expression,
right to privacy,
section 377. 
“it is a sin,” shouts a voice from the back, 
“abnormal,” shouts one from the front,
“should not be allowed,” chimes in from my side.
The audience growls in unison, “abnormal”
I see myself mouth the same word 
over and over and over and over again.
I fall in with the crowd,
today I am normal. 

9:21am:

I paint two girls in my art class, 
there faces fairly engulfing each other, 
her hand over her hips,
the other wanders a little wildly, 
i taste the shade of their lips on paper.
13 minutes later,
my art professor tears the sheet in 32.


11:47am: 

middle of my day, 
we’re out in the field, 
tiffin boxes and laughter, 
empty tiffin boxes and laughter.
I make a list of 43 ways, 
to tell my friend 
there is a closet,
that I refuse to hide inside. 
She giggles,
and I smell sunshine, 
44 ways now. 





12:19pm

the washroom cubicle is a closet, 
that I walk in and out of, 
in and out, 
in and out, 
in and out, 
in and out. 
I’ve heard metaphors 
help deal with reality.
I’m not closeted anymore, 
I feel naked today,
I stare at myself 
in the broken scarred bathroom mirror
that my school hasn’t changed 
in the past 73 years, 
I refuse to wipe off my tears today, 
today I’m normal. 

12:53pm

my friend borrows my notebook
to copy the last 3 sentences of today’s classwork. 
As I hand it over,
covered in the uniform brown paper,
I remember the rainbows, 
and hearts, 
and “I want to 377 you”
scribbled over the last few pages. 
I snatch it back, 
I remember I’m normal today. 

1:17pm:

i see colours a lot differently, 
I don’t wear black or white.
I don’t want to.
black and white, 
the closet I do not feel
like locking myself in, 
I don’t like calling it a closet either, 
my closet’s very colourful, 
it has 53 different shades of yellow,
it feels a lot like home. 
I call black and white a box, 
the brown cardboard box
that you sell your old newspapers in. 
I don’t want to be yesterday’s newspaper. 
I don’t feel at home there. 
Today I’m normal.

1:47pm:

I’m on my way home, 
wearing the same grey plaid skirt 
that I’ve worn since the past 7 years, 
I let the pleats stay tangled, 
as I untangle my heart. 
today, I’m normal. 


_untangling the pleats 

26/09




emmess
a few days ago, my friend shared her story with me. This is dedicated to her; more power to you! 💙