Fault Lines

Ashish Kumar Singh

I am my parents’ son until I’m not.
Until the secret, like seeds

spilling from a cut sack, comes out.
I know I have been careful in the past

but for how long? No crime is perfect
and one day, I’ll be caught.

Believe me, red is the colour of blood,
shame and faggotry and no matter

the soap I use, it will remain buried
beneath the nails like remnants

of all the men in my mouth.
God, I know I’m stealing time

before my parents asks me to show
my hands and there, they will see

the stolen hours, the truthful lies,
the proves of their son gone astray.

It’s a story of millions of others
and I’m just another star in it.

They’ll curse themselves because
that’s what parents do now that they

have finally realized that none of the
lines on their son’s hands

runs straight.

Ashish Kumar Singh (he/him) is a queer Indian poet whose work has appeared in Passages North, Chestnut Review, Fourteen Poems, Foglifter, Banshee and elsewhere. Currently, he serves as an editorial assistant at Visual Verse and a poetry reader at ANMLY.

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