If she stood still long enough
I could count all her bones

From the cheeks a Leonardo
could have lovingly chiselled

to the

delicate line of jaw
meeting in a razor-sharp chin

to the

strutting clavicles
creating hollows
for her grief to hide

to the

sharply etched ribs
a child could practice
his numbers on

to the

spindly arms that never knew
a comforting layer of fat

to the

fragile twigs passing for fingers
radiating from a slender wrist

to the

protruding hips
on whose jutting-out edges
you could hang a towel to dry

to the

stick-insect legs that failed
to carry her to safety

I could have counted them all
if he hadn’t smashed each one

All it took him was a fist

All I saw
was a shapeless sack of red

By Uma Venkatraman


Born in India, and now living in Singapore, Uma Venkatraman is a journalist with a passion for poetry. Her poems have been published in anthologies such as Good Morning Justice, Poetic Trenches, Along The Shore, and online in the Pink Panther Magazine and the Plath Poetry Project’s December retrospective.

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