fajar zakhri | shame

June 15, 2017

words by: Fajar Zakhri

i see stripes and hues of rainbow
around these parts and wherever i go
but i've only been feeling blue
or gray
on a good day

can anyone explain why

i've been made to feel ashamed
all my life
my teeth, my lips, my scars
my tummy, my face, my thighs
i've been hiding my sex behind
dowdy trousers and shirts oversized
they carry an entire universe

i wear the world so well don't i

just this morning my mother scolded me
for painting my nails and carrying a purse
all my money smeared in her curse
asking, "you're not trying to be a girl, are you"
i said, "so what if i am"
"it's a sin," she replied
i would have said i don't believe in the concept of sin
but i looked away and breathed a sigh

sometimes breathing feels so hard

when you're trying to catch the attention of some guy
trying to convince him you're worth his time
asking him to go out is akin to
asking someone to move mountains for you
when you just want to take a walk
even on slippery slopes and mazy hillsides
but now everyone just wants to take a ride

and go as fast as they can

no spring to quench the thirst for romance
there's only the fall
and the occasional summer dance
mostly it's winter
and a lot of rain
afterwards there will be a rainbow
but it might be faint
and i might be crying


with detest
for the weight of the world
is heavier than the rest
fashionable façade for inferior interior
"you know you would look better if you were slimmer"
so i went to the store and bought a new mirror
but when i look at my reflection
i still see the same person
fat short and ugly
but on a good day i feel a little pretty

you see

sometimes i think pride is the culmination
of tiny little bits of shame rolled into one
and shame manifests itself in pain
and a whole lot of trouble in mind
rearing its unbecoming head
when you're desperately trying to keep it low

you know

sometimes i think instead of coming out
i really wish i could just feel the shame
coming down

what colour do you see now?

Artwork c/o Sophie Derrick