my amma’s heartbreak from the future

dear Alok vaid menon,

my amma
is a feminist
;
she is brown
soft
comforting
and
before
I
make her
sound
like a
chocolate
mousse

i
will
tell you
the one
thing
she always
says
to me
:
‘friends
are
everything
;
one day
when
you will
fall in love
and
get married,
i hope
it’s with
your
best-friend’

i hate
the fact
that
i  will
have to
marry
my best friend
to prove
my love to
them
but
my dear
amma
she is
25 years
older than
me
so
i understand

i
grew
up
knowing
believing
that sex
is temporary
touch
is permanent

and my best friend

oh
the first time
she touched
me

was
when
she put
a blanket over
me
while i slept
salivating
over
her
pillow

and then
she touched
me again
in
private
when
she
wrote
me a
letter ;
handwritten ;
she has such a
warm
way of
emoting

i
couldn’t
resist
getting
an envelope
inked
on my wrist
two years later

six years since
and several
partners on
and off
she is the
only
one who
can calm
me
during a
panic attack

and i
love her
and she

of all the things
my anxiety makes
me doubt
it hasn’t yet
made me
doubt her
love for me

ayyo
how
will
i ever
tell my
mother
that i cannot
ever marry
my best friend
in the country
we belong to

not that
i want
to

but

i cannot

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