Desire Has No History
Every seven years, your body destroys
each of its cells, and regenerates new ones,
reads a post on Facebook that puts a smile
on the faces of those in need of it. In the post-truth
world, this might be the only information
necessary to win the war on our bodies.
Like poetry, this body does not need
facts either. If we choose to believe that
in X number of years our bodies can wipe
all the imprints of its past, can offer clean slates,
then we can all be reincarnated.
In an almost assured handwriting, I find
‘Desire has no history’ written in my journal.
While I can’t remember who said this, it has
to either be Susan Sontag, or Roxanne Gay, the two
women I fill the pages of my journal with.
Though they both remain irrelevant to this
poem. What matters are the reborn cells, and the
reincarnated desire, the one that has no history.
Scientists and poets, after all, are one and
the same people, as a friend and I had once
If desire gets rewritten every few years,
if the body comes with a self-destruct,
self-construct button, we all can leave
behind our yesterdays, bury them somewhere
forgettable. Unfortunately, we all know
that place does not exist.
A simple act of writing a poem
bears testimony to the fact that there is
no replacing pain. Desire might not have
a history, suffering does. As any good psychiatrist
will tell you, this body keeps the count.
The false positivity being sold to us today
is nothing if not the indicator of our
need to buy these lies. It’s what capitalism
has taught us. A bandage for when we need
sutures. A suture for when we need surgery.
But let’s keep buying these lies if they
help us forget the people we once were.
It’s a radical act of kindness, it’s what
we need to heal. If it is possible, let’s
mislead our bodies, let it miscount our
Let our organs be organs for once,
and not the storehouses of trauma
no one signed up for. If indeed such
science is possible, let’s hand over
all our poetry to those making our
cells regenerate. They are going to need it.
Manjiri Indurkar is a poet-writer from Jabalpur. Her forthcoming memoir on mental health and her debut poetry collection ‘Origami Aai’ will be published by Westland Publications in 2020 and 2021 respectively.