“Crying Boys” by Kinshuk Gupta

Kinshuk Gupta


What of a country where boys are taught to grow
into wheels to rattle over tracks
bruised by false machismo.

Lug weight of a family 
on their metal hips. I crease from the waist
like a paper clip when he enters with heavy steps,
squeezes my face between his palms.

Boys should grow beards that prick like pins. 

He orders me to repeat my name a hundred times,
insert fuck before it, moan loud to turn him on.

When I halt to breathe, his leather boots recoil
like a trigger, kick on the bulge between my thighs. 
Pain shoots up my body how a hooting train startles 
a snoozing station. 

He thrusts his palm, snakes it
down into my throat, keeps it there till the clumps 
of consonants drool from the corners of my lips. 

The only law in my country to protect me
is to close my eyes and believe that destiny is a bullet 

And when no one is staring, fling flecks
of fear and fire and what happened to you 
to the ground. 

from Rattle #73, Fall 2021
Tribute to Indian Poets


Kinshuk Gupta: “What I understand about people or poetry hugely relies on my experiences as an Indian. India, with its culture and contradictions, often becomes a part of my writing in ways difficult to comprehend. A poet’s journey, I feel, is the constant effort to push away the boundaries of personal to incorporate the global.”

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