these bones will tell you stories,

of how they have held me

throughout these years.

if you examine them long enough

you will notice how old the scars are.

you will see a nine-year-old

praying in the temple for her own death.

you will see a twelve-year-old

looking at a knife and her mom’s dupatta,

and thinking of ways to kill herself.

you will see a fourteen-year-old

picking up the blade to cut herself again

because it didn’t bleed enough the first time.

but don’t worry

these bones will also tell you

about all the times the nine-year-old

bruised her knee playing a game of lock-and-key.

of all the times the twelve-year-old

used the dupatta only to wear it as a saree.

of all the times the fourteen-year-old

picked herself up and decided to never touch a blade again.

these bones will tell you stories

of weakness and bravery,

of scars and beautiful memories,

and by the time

you’re done reading them,

you won’t know if the tears streaming down your face

make your heart wrench or your soul smile.