WRITTEN BY ADITI RAJU
Let us switch places, mother— you and I.
Our doctors: our heroes, they say. But they
don’t wait to see the stubborn blood go dry
on hospital floors. Have you seen the way
paint hardens on our walls? Our house’s bored
white rooms, they freeze and crackle: mud to clay.
Dull plaster patterns to me you may explore,
guarded by walls that hide your pain and hear
the crimson streaks on floors we all ignore.
Let us switch places, mother— so that I
may bear the blood you carry, words you cry.