THE GENETIC MAKEUP OF A YES-MAN

GENETIC MAKEUP OF A YES-MAN

 

On another news,

in South America,

 a 24- year old man, John Wallace;

was found in a state of,

locked-in-survivor’s guilt,

 

witnesses present at the scene, say,

the man lost all sense of voluntary actions,

and could only communicate in,

vertical eye movements;

 

The lady on Channel no. 24,

holds a cold stare fixed into nothing,

as she goes on and on about the royal wedding,

of the prince,

She says,

She says, in order to combat,

the groom and the bride’s emotional differences,

and also to encourage a show of romantic feelings,

the wedding would be a simple affair,

held at a confidential hospital,

ritualizing,

a medical operation surgically transplanting,

their, guts, hearts, tongues and finally eyes, into each other,

 as the final rite,

 

and as I sit listening, in a room filled with spirals and auctioned happiness,

 I can’t help but imagine myself in a hospital gown,

under the blinding operating light,

my body spreads like a canvas under quick incisions,

desperately yearning for replacement.

 

My guts,

a blazing red,

too familiar with the taste of my own blood,

now, on the dry days,

they would trip on themselves in vain hope,

and fall,

 

and have been falling ever since,

 

creating beautiful self-portraits,

out of the blood,

they leave splattered on the ground.

 

My tongue, I doubt it would serve much of a purpose

I’ve picked up the habit of doing my introductions as,

Hi, I’m Juveriya.

Forget it. Just…. call me anything.

My name has an Arabic origin, you see

it bears the fruit of a land; I have never tasted the salt of.

So, whenever someone asks me,

“Buuuut….What does your name even mean?

I know I’ll be left searching for my own voice.

About the meaning, I’m sorry, I don’t really know.

I’m still figuring out how I learnt to read Arabic when I was 8,

and couldn’t tell the difference between an alif and a sheen,

when I turned 18.

 

As the scalpel reaches towards my eyes, I suddenly feel like I can breathe a little better.

Reading the air is the art of social manners,

 Meaning: being able to understand the situation without words or the ability to ‘sense’ someone’s feelings.

You see, the cornea is the only part of the body with no blood supply,

It gets its oxygen directly from the air,

So, while I’m still searching for my voice,

 I decrypt the readings on every particle of air,

and feel short of breath at the end of every sentence.

Now, my eyes have become so well accustomed to breathing,

That I sense the braille,

On my fingertips,

And end up reading the atmosphere, everywhere I go.

 

Act as per the mood of the setting. Do not be a buzzkill.

 

Only, I always seem to say,

The right things at the wrong time,

And the wrong things at the wrong time, way too often

 

I’m scared that if I talk for too long,

I’ll run out of things to talk about

 

I’m scared that if I stay silent for too long,

I’ll eventually forget I exist

 

I’m afraid the road is too long,

so I never step out of the house in the first place

 

They always repeat the safety precautions over and over again,

 and people who have always been loved but never taught how to identify it,

can’t help but find their assurance in repetitions;

 

So now,

Now, I’m just a failed attempt at survival, always preparing for the worst.

That is, just always scared of letting life happen to me.

 

You see,

I’ve been reading the atmosphere for far too long,

and acting as per it

that somewhere, somehow,

 I forgot that the purpose of air all along,

was to just seep into my lungs,

and let me… breathe.

 

Lastly, the doctors peel off my skin,

And it slides off a bit too easily,

Exposing layers covered with soot underneath,

after overwriting on itself,

a long history of forefathers,

who died fighting battles in someone else’s names,

 battles they never called their own.

 

My maa calls them silent heroes,

I think my friends would’ve called them…… pushovers.

 

The black reminds me of the time,

I played my first character of the thirsty crow on stage,

Only, later I found out,

A group of crows is called a ‘murder’

and I think I have slaughtered myself,

as an offering

to please the people around me, enough times

to finally understand what that means.

 

Probably why, when the doctors reach for my spine,

they come out with hands holding guilt, apologies and empty spaces in between.

 

So now,

Now,

When I sit in a room filled with the company of all the people I’ve become,

I can’t help but wonder,

when I open my eyes in that hospital room,

under the blinding operating light,

in borrowed parts of someone else’s body,

 

I would probably wake up thinking,

 

This is no rebirth.

 

Everything is just exactly the same.

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