My red is not your red.

Joyita Faruk

Contains themes of suicide, self-harm and hallucinations.
Reader discretion is advised.

Ah, yes. Color me a red
That you’d rather forget.
A dream you would reclaim-
If not for the searing suns of the west.
Sleep had scurried off, to the drab walls you stare at,
Under disinfected blankets, and towels, and the cloak of regret.

‘How are you, today?’
And- ‘Is it time yet?’

‘To eat or to drink?
Or, to take the pills?’ You say.

‘To blink.
Hey, did you remember to blink today?’

You blink as I ask, eyes hung in dark caves,
Your head finds its nook,
In the same place I’m red.

You pick at the scabs,
Fires blaze in your eye-caves,
‘What ugly drawings.’ You scorn.

‘…Should I draw you instead?’

‘There is no “drawing instead”!
Never draw again, you ungrateful-!’

‘But if I don’t draw,
How can I see you again?!’

I point at the walls. The barren white walls.
The stench of antiseptic-
Permeates my translucent claws.
The truth: That if I don’t color ,
the white lab coats never call you here.

‘Red is the only  paint  I have.’

‘You  are the only  dream  I have.’

My Red - Illustration for Joyita

Then a: Ding!
The scorching sun suffuses me. I dissolve.
Slowly – all sounds muffling weak –
I resort to seeing your howls at my feet.

The white lab coats come.
This time not for me-
It was a long time ago,
That they stopped by my bed.

‘That time was beautiful, right?
When I colored myself red?’

‘No! No, you’re NOT dead!’

The white lab coats sting you.
You fall to your bed.

‘Hey, as long as you dream,
I promise I won’t be dead!
There is no reason for you
To try and stain yourself red.’

‘Hey, can you hear me?’

Ah, yes. Color me the red
That never left my bed.
The reality you would regain-
If not for a suffering son’s bequest.

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