NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 130

By GRACE OCASIO DEAR SISTER IN NEW DELHI The smell of New Delhi at dusk — rancid as Muenster cheese since a posse of youth mistook you for a small-town whore. We owe you our blood, young woman, who must have inhaled when they tore into you. I don’t ever want to know the feeling of cold metal pressed against my innards. I don’t ever want my mouth open, a waterfall of pain flooding the ground. Did you know they would choose you? The ones with a warped scheme? How did they approach you? Did they wink at you? Did they gesture with two fingers spread out toward your face and the face of your partner? Did they squat in the middle of the bus before they accosted you? Obscene signal designed to make you think you were less than excrement? They must have appeared vapid as gauze, nameless as shadows sliding against door jambs descending into potholes and gutters. What did it matter what they muttered the last seconds of your life? 128 Perhaps their faces flashed crimson, their skin itched, tongues stilled, as if it dawned on them what they had done.