Undone by an Artist

There I had been walking
When someone pulled me aside
“Oh you cannot be seen like that-
You are uncovered.
It’s just not decent..”
And those who are never at a loss for words
Fumbled and scrambled
To find some that fit

“Take these… these should fit you,”
And they put on me hastily
Some nice sounding ones
A bunch of titles, and names
And common refrains
pulled together in a fabric
much like theirs
so if someone brushed against me
in a crowded place
they would feel that common fabric
and feel safe

Yes I see, why it’s needed
it helps me of course
on cold, dank days
I pull it close
Pile on some more
When the warmth inside is inaccessible
This external warmth keeps me alive

This fabric of words, it hides my flaws
It makes me look good
It helps avoid having to explain my naked self
It helps avoid anyone looking straight at that self
Because that would be terrible, won’t it?

And so this fabric, it grows and grows
It becomes heavier, and stiffer
Eventually clinging to my skin
Because when can you ever take it off?

It begins to become me. Wait, what me?
Never mind, not important
Let’s get to the business of living
There’s nothing to complain
With all these beautiful clothes and fabrics
More and more, and prettier and prettier
By the day
And I walk with a smug smile
Donning the fashion of the day
And I am not even missing anything

Till this musician starts to sing
And play
And I look around, embarrassed,
Like one of them, thinking,
“Oh no, he is uncovered.. it’s just not decent…
Does he even know?
Someone, give him some fabric..”

And I am thinking it is vulgar
And yet I am transfixed
His voice and his notes are tugging at some strings..
I feel the tugging at the threads of my fabric
Some seams getting torn, some edges coming undone
It’s painful, I tell you, painful
Because this fabric, it’s now embedded in my skin

“Won’t someone please stop him?” I manage to say
I protest- but oh, I stay
Because the trickle of blood oozing as my strings
Are pulled and undone
Gives me a sense of something I haven’t felt in so long-
The warmth on the inside

And so it flows, this warm blood, and I let it
And soon I am undone, and come apart
The fabric torn, and myself
And that’s all of me, undoubtedly
Scattered in a mess across the floor

Today I can tell I am alive
Because all that blood is warm
And that heart is beating with abandon
Throbbing and gushing
Oh, that’s me-undone, uncovered,
the warmth inside oozing all over the place
Shamelessly

I am inspired
To dip my fingers around
In that scattered mess
And paint a scarlet painting
Maybe literally, from the heart

And who knows
It may inspire a ‘blind eye’
To look, once more
And perhaps once again, see

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