Inheritance – Gauri Burma

Illustration – Shristi Singh

I came here
with this pair of lungs
and this suitcase of bone.

Everything else came later.

I became, I became.
I acquired this life through water
and stolen songs.

I have inherited
no smiles, been entrusted with no eyes.
The sum of my belongings is a day,

with the fallacy of needing, wild
with an electricity that turned a light on
inside two children
fusing under an orange tree,
not worrying, not worrying
about what spectacle they would create
that would sprout arms and legs,
sleep in strange beds
and create spectacles of its own.

I have that and this
mark on the inside of my thigh
shaped like an orange flake:
the memory of their mistake
revealed when I am making mine.

Gauri Burma lives in Mumbai, where she works as a copywriter. She has earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Mumbai and is currently pursuing a P.G. Diploma in Comparative Mythology at the University of Mumbai

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