permanence

Arwin Shams Siddiquee

Contains implications of abuse.
Reader discretion is advised.

there are creases on the plastic covering on our old dining table,
and it’s yellowing softly in a few places
because my brother is a messy eater,
and the stains he leaves sometimes are more permanent than mum’s exasperated scoldings.
the stains and creases are here to stay, it seems.

there’s a little burn mark on the armchair in the living room
because my mother can be a little forgetful sometimes
and the hot bit of a mosquito coil keeps moving.
but it’s only a little mark, and no one really notices
except when you know its there –
like most small imperfections.

the switchboard on one of the bedroom walls is still cracked
because my father can’t hold in his anger sometimes.
at least it’s not another one of the fancy mugs
mum likes those, i think, for tea.
but mugs can be replaced;
switchboards too.

Permanence illustration for Arwin

the tiny inkblots on that one tee haven’t washed off and that’s alright
because i haven’t sketched with ink in a while,
and reminders are nice. like tiny time capsules
but only if you were there when they were buried,
and some version of me was.

the scratch mark on my cheek is still there
because even as an infant, my sister had had a strong grip
and it only got stronger. i’m glad her hands grip art supplies now
even if they’re used on my notebooks sometimes.
the colors are there to stay.

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