SWAGATALAKSHMI ROYCHOWDHURY | CREATIVES
An adaptation of Robert Frost’s poem ‘A Passing Glimpse.’
Trigger warning: Mentions sexual assault.
I had on an invisible metal corset.
Much like Frida, I felt alone.
Alone in my thoughts,
Alone in my journey.
The corset was the cast
Keeping me rooted,
So that I didn’t fly off the tracks
Into the woods.
Those threadbare moments would flash by like
Flower(s) from a passing car
They are gone before I can tell what they are.
Somewhere along, I knew that the flower would die.
Who would ask to be deflowered like this?
He was someone else:
Not the steady driver
I knew him to be.
I want(ed) to get out of the train
As he stealthily grazed his hand
Down my underpants and
Squeezed a buttcheek.
I looked up at him,
And he looked back, unashamed.
“Don’t be scared,” his eyes said.
I name all the flowers I am sure they weren’t
For that was no flowery moment.
And also because my seven-year-old self
Knew not the names of very many flowers.
But I do recall the names Frost clearly said they weren’t.
Indeed, they weren’t
fireweed loving (flowers) where woods have burnt–
Then what was it that burned
And left in me a pile of charred anguish?
Not bluebells gracing a tunnel mouth–
Then why were his blue balls grazing my lips?
Not lupine living on sand and drouth–
Perhaps not; all I wanted
Was to be a cactus and prick
And leave him thrashing about
In the oasis.
Was something brushed across my mind–
Yes, something was.
Like watercolour paste past my tongue
Off the tip of the brush.
–That no one on earth will ever find?
No Frost no.
Find they will,
Regardless of whether or not you did.
Like you, I too wasn’t
In position to look too close
I could only look back to that moment,
And touch myself,
And shudder at those