Shrinking Circles

We all have circles around us
Circles that are so important
That they pretty much define
Who we are.
The length of the radius
Is our reach
The circumference marks
Our boundary
And the area
Is our shadow
Our shadow that so beautifully traces our outline
And yet encompasses everything within us
And everything about us.

Ask me about my circle and I’ll tell you.
I’ll try to convince you that my radius extends
In every direction
Endlessly.
I’ll tell you that the circumference
Only begins at the horizon
That the more you walk towards it
The farther it’ll appear.
I’ll confess to you that you no longer have to walk that far
Because, now, the boundaries are coming towards me
I will warn you to stay away from them
To run towards me
As fast as you can
Because once the boundaries hit you
You will no longer be in my circle.
I will tell you with a quiver in my voice
That my circle is shrinking.

It is shrinking
Every time I complain
That my grandfather and I have nothing in common
Because he does his sudoku in the newspaper
And I do it on my phone.
It is shrinking
Every time I laugh
When my male friend cracks a rape joke
And then regain myself enough to say
Rape isn’t funny .
It is shrinking
When I start to believe everything
But stop believing in anything.

Now look at your circles
You’ll see that they too
Are shrinking.

They are shrinking
Every time you feel guilty
For eating chicken biryani.
They are shrinking
Every time you paint your daughter’s room pink
Without asking her what she wants.
They are shrinking
Every time your stomach goes funny
When you sit next to a man with a beard.

Our circles are shrinking
Because we are trying to invade other circles
Solely because they are not congruent to ours.
They are shrinking
Because we glorify everything
But don’t have gratitude for anything.
They are shrinking
Because we no longer relate different
To diverse.

As a result our circles
Are becoming smaller and smaller
More distanced from each other.
We’ve all become tangential
Touching each other at only one point
Whether this is all mad symmetry
Or just by design
Is up to you to decide.

So stretch your hands out of your circles,
Prove that you are more than your radius
You will end up with gashes, no doubt
But maybe someday you will find someone
Who reaches out.

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