decalcomania by Shriya Ravi


“decalcomania” by Shriya Ravi


even as the sun rises and you are no longer in shadows, she finds it hard to be afraid. there’s
not much in the way of stealth, but when has she ever had use of it? nightfall does not hide
the way she burns like a beacon; it does nothing to conceal the constitution of her bones.

you are always chasing after her, this corporeal pipe dream. she is gentle in your arms and
she is never hesitant to cry, but she is also the blood on your knuckles and the adrenaline
singing in your veins.

once upon a time, you fell. when you stood up again, battered and bruised, there were two.
you and her, then. the soul knocked out of you. once upon a time, you lay down. it’s always
so cold but she burns sharp and quick. when night comes sleep calls to you but she rises,
presses her lips to your forehead and watches your strings snap at the tenderness.

in the end you are just a corpse, aren’t you? so she will survive without you. it hurts so much
to be left behind but it hurts more to let go. you are hollowing, inside out, and you wonder if
she will walk away until you stretch so far you snap into her and you become whole.

wishful thinking, you know, because she will not come back for what burden she has left




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Shriya Ravi Artist Statement:

I turned to written words when I was too hurt to speak, but poetry doesn’t need to be things we are too scared to say. It can be the words we want to shout out to the world, the words we want to paint on walls and make people read. Poetry is an invasive concept; it pervades in all aspects of life once it is learned. Inherently there is beauty in everything, from cracks in the sidewalk to a dimly lit room. We just have to be taught to see. It is a mindset, and I think it would be marvelous to think of the world in terms of malleable words.

I’m an Indian-American teen, born and raised in Southern California, and I’m currently pursuing an Associate’s Degree in General Studies, aiming for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I’ve always been in touch with Indian and Hindu culture, and having found validation in the psychological concept of dual-consciousness, I learned to fully embrace both my heritage and American identity. I believe that we have to fight for equality in an inherently biased world, and that self-worth is something we should all strive for alongside happiness. I am a strong woman, and I am glad I have learned my own strength.

Author: A Room of Her Own

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