I remember vomiting daal and rice,
with bitten nails going unnoticed in the mix.
I remember hating the sight of my face
in the mirror, reduced to a crumpled tissue.
I don’t remember what it was like before –
before that assembly line of “sap stories”
sabotaged me at eighteen:
when my salsa instructor grabbed my breast
instead of my hand; when Papa
started popping pills with his Pilsners; when I
got a C on my science test.
I remember how you never understood why it was
the C that had me tasting tears.
I remember how you used to say to me
“Stop looking for attention.”
But I don’t remember ever tweeting about it –
I tweeted about my breakfast frittata,
and my fractured foot; never my depression.
Because? It isn’t the black hood of Kermit.
Because? It isn’t the scowl of Grumpy Cat.
Because? It’s just sad and bad and dreadful –
I’m sorry I wasn’t more entertaining.
I’m sorry I have a disorder;
all I wanted was to not be a disappointment.
I’m sorry you were ashamed of me, Mom;
all you wanted was – anything but this.
I’m sorry I’ve run out of sorries,
because now I’m twenty-two,
because I think we passed the expiry date
on “just a phase” years ago,
because now the phrase is
old, tired, retired – like that milk carton
in our old flat in Kolkata.
The milk we forgot in the fridge
when we moved out four years ago.
We got the whole fridge replaced under warranty.
Too bad your daughter doesn’t have a return policy.