Being God

It’s a strange world when

Half of its population cannot claim

Ownership of their bodies.

Stranger still, when the other half

Claims this as their right.

.

You have already pegged me, fit me in neat boxes

By the clothes I wear. Jeans, salwar or shorts:

They bear a silent testimony to my virtue, my marketability.

.

When my breasts, my curves, my blood

Are taboos, never meant to be spoken about:

Only for secret gropings and your possession,

Learning to love my own body

Feels like a transgression.

.

It is not right for me to feel beautiful,

You’ll find flaws plenty to undermine

The process of my unlearning.

I know my body is marked,

There are scars only I can see

Which I cover with demure smiles.

.

My body is marked

By your gaze, your colonizing thoughts,

Your relentless hands.

I’m left with what you’ve discarded.

It isn’t right for me to learn to love my body

It is a miracle that only I can perform.

That way, I’m nearer to God

Than you ever can be.

 

Blood

I could write

A hundred thousand words,

And you still wouldn’t understand

Why I say nothing.

.

Every word a woman writes

Is tinged in her blood.

She’s used to bleeding,

That is why she’s born.

.

To be crushed, so that the world makes sense to you.

To be silent. so that you can speak for me as well,

To be dead, so that my life is yours to live.

.

Enjoy my body

There is no blood left.

I’ve bled out, I’m sand dry

Savour me now

And tell me what you taste.

 

My Mother

My mother-

She sees her face blurry in the mirror

Her doublechin is endless.

She doesn’t dare look into her eyes.

.

My mother-

She remembers her laughter as another life

The trees, animals, rocks, brooks, so unreal.

Her daughers? Do they think of her? Definitely

Not as much as she thinks of them, not even close.

.

My mother-

The garlic stinks under her fingernails

Hands once soft, now resemble the scrubbing brush.

The milk boils and she lifts the kettle with her bare hands

Nothing burns her anymore.

.

My mother-

What are her dreams, her secret thoughts, her sighs all about?

Nobody asked between dinner and washing dishes.

Now her eyes are tired, but nobody is there to see.

The people she want are far away, or lost behind hazy glows.

.

My mother-

Sometimes she is so faint

I fear she will vanish with her next breath.

Bedtime Story

Let me tell you a bedtime story.

A story which began a long long time ago

In a faraway place, hidden deep inside

Called the heart.

The heart led a happy life:

It would be happy as long as it listened

To her wise mother’s words, “Dear Heart,

Never visit your ugly neighbour, Memory”.

But one day Heart leapt across the gate

And paid a visit to Memory,

And this bedtime story is about

The sad results of this visit.

.

This is a story about happy eyes

That turned dull, of smiles frozen,

Of days that dragged by, of

Forgettable people and fleeting joys.

.

This is a story of numbness

And an all surprassing loneliness:

Of dejection, and a constant

Dull ache right below the skin.

.

It’s about always feeling cold,

The tips of your fingers constantly freezing,

About laughter and words sounding distant

And never experiencing a moment of silence.

.

Oh, do you not want to hear this story?

Then go to sleep, darling. But remember,

Sleep isn’t a safe place anymore;

That’s where those hands always find you.

Waiting

One day, I hope not to wait

Watching as you erase  me

In new faces, places and stations.

I do not want to always hear

Your hurried goodbyes, two and a half minute

Long conversations about how busy you are,

While your friends laugh in the background.

.

I do not want to watch my days go away

As I watch my phone to make it ring,

My decision to be cold and not pick up

Evaporating the moment I hear your hey.

.

One day I hope to be you

Letting places and people push me around

Then I will not have to try

To make you a memory, it would be too easy

To forget you in the time I am busy.

 

 

The Mouthless Woman

The drip of a leaky tap

Has turned into a gush of blood.

I am terrified of time:

Its malevolent, fickle movements.

The night no longer embraces me

In its absolute blackness:

I can hear all of its voices now.

I fear if I turn just an inch,

They will tear my skin off.

.

I find myself being afraid

Of so many, many things.

I am so full of secrets.

History’s pull is stringer now

I dare not imagine a future

Rid of yesterday’s scratches and screams.

.

I fear I will turn

Into the mouthless woman

Decked in her father’s sweat

And her mother’s tired expectations.

The mouthless woman is dangerous:

She lets him have her life.

More importantly, when she finds a voice

It will only say, “Keep your eyes down, dear”,

“Do not provoke them, daughter”,

Or worst, “you’ll grow up to be just like me”.