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One inch,
It was all that mattered
To make a difference.

One inch up the keyhole beckoned,
My toe fell short to reach,
To peer into a forbidden place.

One finger to dip in fell short,
The secret slit to my father's pockets-
Gateway to mysteries.

One twist of that key,
Access to mother's cupboard,
To adorn my self in all her finery.

The commas, pauses and hyphens,
Blank spaces of conversations
Were adult lexicons in my presence.

The grown up sky slithered one inch up,
Teasing the five fingers of my senses;
Raw dough, learning the alphabets of reality.

Flat surfaces became magical frescoes
Three-dimensional relief of meanings,
Illuminating my world. 

  [part  2]

Now a young adult with new fences;

One button opened on my shirt
I painted a cleavage.

The skirt rode one inch above the knee,
An invitation to a wanton's party.

I colored my lips red, I wore
The Costume of a whore.

Cutting my hair, losing my femininity,
I shed my clothes, for all to see.

Growing talons, painting my nails scarlet -
I am the devil's woman.

Strapless dress, six inch heels,
Showing skin, I am beyond redemption.

Amoral, cast out I celebrate,
The freedom one inch gave;

It made all the difference in my life.


Nirmala has published two books of Poems and held a number of painting exhibitions all over India. She has
been published  in  Indian Literature, Kavya Bharati, PEN, The Telegraph, Asian Age, Femina, Bare root review
of Minnesota university. Her short stories have appeared in The Little Magazine, The Heritage Magazine,
Eve's Monthly, Asian age, and Cha: an Asian literary journal .

 


  


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