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White has a curious knack of drawing out blood

Art by Belynda Henry
Art by Belynda Henry

Poems by Krutika Zambre

Trigger Warning: Mention of violence, abuse



Has a curious knack

Of drawing out blood

i. petite age


of newly white denims

and a five year old self

short hair, impish flair

Trying to catch a butterfly

toe twisted in a rock

a quick jab

that fabric drab...

in scarlet knees galore.

ii. pubescence

locks of hair like

trapeze artists reaching out

waiting for the football game

seated on a stone or shame


And Whispers

Guilty thighs

Endometrial dye

And a "risky" offwhite skirt

iii. burning age

on the knees

in the house of abuse

shivering knuckles

Numb neurotudes

Broken nose

Bruised lip, crimson teeth

"Nobody can know."

iv. white has a curious knack

of drawing out blood

furious screams

unheard pleas

head banged against the floor

in quick second

martyred by an unknown self

and a beautiful white shirt reborn

in red.



Is a little child




Celebrated as a token on her best day,


If she misbehaves.


Is a little child,


But haunted

By what she cannot be,

Donning a uniform,

Neat and tidy,

Off to school,

Giving her attendance:

"Present, Sir!"

And then sinking into the sidelines,

Having lunch alone,

Because no one wants to be friends with Truth;




Is a little child

Learning to hide herself,


Collecting the pieces of her disheveled past,

Trying to make sense of her loss,

Grieving forever

For a world that tortured and abandoned her

and a home she couldn't return to safety to

She grows up,

Only to forget herself,

Becoming someone




Fun to




The narcissist excavates my death and shouts at my corpse till it fears death

So I live in an in between

Rebelling against my dying the only available act of revolution; however futile

My blood that spills down my nose is a confirmation that I'm still alive

The salt of the red fluid a nutrition I'll hook onto

Hook onto

And then the tears, my sweet friends, gently stream in to help

They all think harm is loud

Loud like his cacophony, loud like the chaos he creates

Loud like his plucking away of every humane boundary

Loud like my pained bellows

Loud like his laughter as he tells me that everyone who can hear him inflicting his horror onto me

Is gonna abandon me

For I'm simply an inconvenience

That draws him, and his terror into their lives

But it's quiet

Quiet as the spectator who looks away

Quiet like my surrender to the floor

Crumbling on my knees

Quiet like my retreating into the cocoon in a reverse metamorphosis

Quiet as my frozenness

when they do abandon me because I'm simply an inconvenience that draws him, and his terror into their lives

It's quiet like my awkward giggles as I laugh off scars as trivial accidents to not fall into the rabbit hole of triggering questions

Quiet like my absence from the life that was promised to me

But was never to be mine

He'd make sure it wouldn't be.

It's quiet like my cries under the blanket to not attract attention from the terroriser, lest I be flagellated to silence

It's quiet like my quietness against injustice inflicted upon me, not cause I'm a coward, but cause I'm smarter than inviting more ravaging into my life

And it's quiet like the ink that will never spill for my deepest trauma

Hidden by my psyche ever so kindly to protect me from perceiving it

But what else is quiet is my bravery of each day

And those small victories that only I'll ever be witness to

What's quiet is the spark of promise and hope that doesn't need to be a fire right away

What's quiet now is that old spiritual gaslighting which tells me my thoughts attract my oppression

What's quiet is relearning of safety in speaking truth

Unlearning shame

What's quiet is that voice which tells me I shall be punished brutally if I ever write something beneath literary acclaim

So here's a sinking into my power through acknowledgement

Of the bruise that wasn't bandaged but hidden

Of the truth that spilled red on a canopy of white lies

and a metamorphosis that doesn't require flight yet

Just a fight

Not a weapon yet

Just a rite

To write

Is to reclaim

Soft for now

Tomorrow loud

Beyond the shadowing of death.


Krutika Zambre is a poet and spoken word artist known for her featured work on platforms such as Live Wire, The Alipore Post, and Spill Poetry. Her poetic voice gracefully explores themes of sensitivity, mythology, science, and femininity.

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