Ramya Ravindrababu

Self Portrait as a Candy Wrapper

When I was young I wanted to be a candy bar: “...that way, people wouldn’t have to meet me, they would just love me the second they…”

saw my wrappers, glistening on the shelves of the people store,
“...the moment they…” hear the crunch of my mylar wrappers opening,
like feet on autumnal leaves

“When I grow up, I want to be a candy wrapper”

I woke up every morning smiling at my candy wrappers
and laughing at the world

I learned once upon a sunrise that it doesn’t matter what type of candy you are.
I learned too many times to count - all that matters is being sold

I had yet discover that after you die, and they perform an autopsy, a metaphor only sees your insides

I had yet to discover what it means to be a ghost, forget the flesh, forget the chocolate,
there is no autopsy, there are no insides, no more metaphors
build a brighter sign, buy a louder blow horn, Sell

But, I didn’t know until just now that I wanted to give you more than a wrapper

Here, take these; my mom gave them to me, they are all I have left
Save my bright shiny candy wrappers, with nothing inside, formless like accordions,
pushed around by their players, weightless, like….

I had yet to discover that I might 
want to give you things sometimes
But when I try to, I remember I can’t afford anything
but the rest of our time together wrapped in acceptance,
with words I’ll never say crinkled in

There is something beautiful about the way that candy wrappers sound like childhood
But Nothing tastes quite like the candy that lines the shelves of the empty red halls of a

The Memory Marker

I want you to write all over me in permanent ink just so that I know you mean it.
Scrawl ‘I WAS HERE’ in big black letters across my midriff
and I know this will just make it harder to erase you
But part of me does not care, part of me just wants you to mean it hard enough

I want to feel it when you write on me
I want to watch you write
Because one of the cures for vulnerability is numbness
And when sharks go in for the kill
their eyes roll back into their heads so they won’t get hurt
And for a moment they are blind – blind for too long
I have forgotten that when you can’t see pain you can’t see beauty
And I want you to etch something permanent on me
So that I can remember you
So that I can remember the part of me that is hurt by numbness

Ramya Ravindrababu is a first-year student at Boston University and comes from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.