MILITANT HUGGER

A poem by Lalita B

 

The militant hugger in me is awake, wanting to shake you up from your sleep and yell at your face all because I’m hug-starved for too long.

People need food, sleep, shelter, clothing, first right? In that order?
I need a hug and then the rest.
Just as a starving belly can’t fall asleep, neither can I without your arms and legs tangled in mine.

Earlier I never had to ask. You’d move countries and beds against walls to give me the perfect hug, to feed me with it and rock me to sleep… you’d expertly rearrange and tide over a wailing, sleeping, sick infant to wrap me in your big arms. You’d crush me until I slept into you feeling like my world was in perfect order

Here I am streaming tears, because I begged for hugs you’ve run out of
and at 4 am I can’t fall asleep.
I asked so many times and you simply ignored me
You had never hugged me, you declared grandly
Sweaty childhoods meant no touching while sleeping and least of all, hugs, you said, putting a Freudian spin.
Hugs only came before we fucked…

Your poverty line for hugs changed in the cool diplomacy of the Planning Commission while I waited parched to be declared hug-worthy. How could you take away something that was the basis of what I loved most about you? We’ve hugged in trains, planes, musty rooms and river banks. In temple towns and mountain tops, in tents and under the star-spangled sky. In secrecy, in mirth, in sadness and in love. And now, there’s no more left?

A drought of hugs? Why? When did this ground water deplete?

Like the angry Noida working class mob, I want to pelt you with stones in my anger. I want to barge into your arms and pry them open to take what is rightfully mine. The militant hugger is awake.

Don’t pet my head and touch my fingers or curl your toes over mine. I don’t need your lazy consolation prize. This is serious business. I need to be in the hugging ICU and be plastered with a crushing hug to set my frittering soul back where it belongs

 

Lalita B writes for a living and loves to cuddle children and grown ups

 

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