TWI Poetry : Desire has No History

Manjiri Indurkar

commuters bike parked on light post

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. 

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