Abstract Nouns

Artwork by Malathi Jogi

Abstract nouns cannot be measured in physical quantities

beauty is too bizarre a concept to be rated on a scale of 1 to 10

how can any number ever capture

the giggle bubbling at the edge of her throat and eyes glinting with mischief
figures can’t encompass the unadulterated joy of playing a prank

how he looks when he bangs his head to brilliant guitar riffs and the wind rushes to fill all the
openings it can find
everything he only reveals to the yawping world of rock and roll
everything he’s kept cramped shut so long

the moment after her breakdown when she looks into the mirror
and whispers in a feeble voice ‘you got this’
louder each time
till it resonates with the sound waves of hope
how can a digit hold the fierce gloriousness of it all

everything they went through when they transitioned
how they had to learn and unlearn everything about their body all over again
how they took their trembling fingertips and held their own hand
and told themselves that they’re beautiful and handsome and gorgeous and everything in
how it became a song inside their head that got louder with every confident stride
how it still rings in the ears of everyone who’s heard it

that performance when flesh moved like it was a drop of paint spreading through fluid
and the stage became a vacuum calling for water from the eyelids of everyone who witnessed it
how their energy in motion brought out everyone’s emotions

Why do you try so hard to define anyone
when we are all ever-alterting and perpetually moving
coming together and always undoing
this is a grand celebration
and all we have of each other is this dance
let’s notice all we wouldn’t get from a glance.

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The idea is to participate in your own existence.
Yashvi Peeti

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