I loved to paint.
The walls of my little room, thus
Were dolled up with an exhibition of my art work
My mother tells me that I spent
Hours at the stationery shops,
Buying paints, brushes,
And every other pretty looking material
To create my own little gallery of colour blotches.
From stick figures to trees and birds
It moved on to pretty, cheerful woman and flowers.
Ten years and a few days later,
I still visit my childhood fascination
And see the brush kissing the white paper in broad daylight.
It leaves behind
a trail of red;
Paper turned out to be a better absorber of my sorrow
Than human beings.
So when nights became sleepless,
And I, unhappier,
I took to my friends and painted my distress,
an orange sunset and love birds heading back home.
The blue of the sky was amiss
Because it was on my skin
So when my blue body turned purple
And your hand hardened,
I held the brush in between my fingers
That stung with cherry sweet pain,
The walls, the sketch pad, whatever could soak in
Now when it has been seventeen days since
You went missing,
The walls make up for your absence
For whose blood would have been redder
To grace the reddish sunrise on the wall, dear husband?
- Kavya Mukhija