Chocolate Irises by Monisha Roychoudhury

 Google Images

Google Images

 I stare into the palms
of a wide-eyed eight-year-old girl with chocolate irises
and watch as she stretches out her stubby fingers over mine.
She shoots me a forced upward turn of her lips,
as if that painful smile could eradicate the words unspoken
lingering between us in the silence.
As if a reassuring hand resting on my shoulder
could erase the image of the shards of reflective glass
shattered on the hardwood floor.
As if the heavy silence could keep my ears from ringing
with the lurching and gagging noises emanating from behind the bathroom door.
As if the smell of burning locks of hair weren’t engrained in my memory,
As if the bleached skin creams could be shoved under the bed
As if I could forget the burning sensation that laced my veins like a serpent
When she claims she is fine
but the taste of blood forever stains her lips,
and her tears are too salty on the tip of her tongue
and the voices in her head never cease.
I hold her chin in the palm of my hand and tilt her head up slightly.
I wipe her tears with the base of my thumb and let a wisp of air leave my lips.
I tell her to sing her own song,
And to spin pirouettes like the rotation of the earth, 
so that we may lay white roses at the tombstones
of all those doubts and insecurities that once plagued her mind,
buried beneath five tons of mud and dirt and dust,
as that little girl grows up to be the woman she always knew she could be
and teaches her own daughter to set ablaze the sky with
the vocal expression of her passion
and to love herself with her infinite love of others
So she will never have to feel such emotions
as her mother had.