The birds on her back.

Of tattoos, memories, and a lifetime of stories. 

I saw the birds on my back woven on the pallu of my mother’s sari, and realised with startling clarity that I was trying to wind¬†freedom around me , without realizing how stifling that could be.

I slip off my sari blouse and the air settles onto the wings of my birds; slowly, slowly, my back flexes into life.

There is something to be said about a woman whose shoulders can comfortably hold the weight of the world and her own freedom. Head held high, spine curving gently, dip of the hip, another tattoo, skin settled so gently over bones, tight muscle.

There is something to be said about this woman, who has birds on her back and blood in between her eyebrows. When she opens her mouth, something like love, escapes.

He watches the curve of her shoulder as her blouse slips down; the moonlight catches the slight shape of bone.