Make me your little joke, and insult me. Insult me to the content of your mind. Rock me on the edge of your middle finger; whip me with the lines of your palm, and when your tyrannous will is done, wean me off on to your toes. Score the goals that will satisfy your ego.
Insult me for what is the insult without the insulting? What is the insulting without the insult?
Drink me. Burn me. Insult me.
Make me your alcoholic drink, and drink me. Drink me to the content of your stomach. Let me glide down the railways of your throat. Paint me with the whims of promiscuity, and when you find a better sip, let me lie on the edge of your dirty toilet; I will survive—maybe.
Drink me for what is the drink without the drinking? What is the drinking without the drink?
Burn me. Insult me. Drink me.
Make me your fat cheesecake and burn me. Burn me to the content of your heart. Calcine me, until I turn your sclerae pitch-black; sully me with the drops of your sweat, and crucify me on your shelf. From there, I’ll watch your world wither and crumble. Day after day.
Burn me for what is the burn without the burning. What is the burning without the burn.
Insult me. Drink me. Burn me but let me tell you I’ll be gone, one day, in silence.
A man can’t be a woman—period. We had the most gentle Behenji  to
steer us through our last year in primary;
she never flew her ego to school in
any Pushpaka Vimana. She didn’t
call her fingers Jyotirlingas . A man can’t be a woman! In her presence, we were in the town’s safest coop—period.
We could playfully peck at the ripe corn dangling along the cute contours of the many Hindi words we had to master. We could gleefully glide along their curves, slumber in their troughs, and feel like proud kings carousing on their horizontal bars.
How we enjoyed having our Christian friends who didn’t mind a big sip whenever their teacher was absent. How they would often end up with their hands and lips sticking to the charm of Hindi. What to say about the way she brought us boys bucketsful of confidence. What to say about the way
she would steadily slow down our heartbeats. A man—can’t be a woman. Period. I remember how before her classes football at recess was never the same.
The egg of the curse broke on our heads when our dear Behenji was transferred and a grotesque belly appeared at the door. She didn’t even have the opportunity to say goodbye. What to say about the
committee in charge of teachers’ transfers; they are born to wreck our futures with the worst decisions in human history.
As the belly settled down as a king would on a throne that long belonged to him, we were suddenly reminded that we were in our town’s most mediocre school.
Period! A man can’t be a—woman.
1] Female Hindi teacher 2] A mythological flying palace or chariot 3] Devotional representations of God Shiva
Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher from Mauritius. His writing has appeared in around 160 magazines, namely WINK, The Rye Whiskey Review, Night Garden Journal, Ann Arbor Review and Ethos Literary Journal. He loves to pick off past experiences and turn them over in the light. A one-time Pushcart and two-time Best of the Web nominee, he nowadays edits The Pangolin Review.