Do I represent you woman?
Am I the femme fatale, temptress Eve
or just the girl next door?
Which is the real me?
What do I stand for?
My hips, my lips, my buttocks,
my buxom bosom or my silk smooth neck?
The hair that I unconsciously wind and unwind, nervous
of your smacking lips and drooling mouth?
The back that your eyes skin?
Seven Blind men once groped an elephant
to conceive a part as a whole.
I am not hips, cheeks, lips and buttocks
that your greedy hands grope for.
I am not just the angry girl
burning my bra on the high street
asking for suffrage and my rights.
I am whole – a mind and a heart –
living and throbbing, refusing
to be designed as you please.
The burden of representation you have yoked on me –
from a coy bride to slut, exciting your wanton sheets.
Now, I am the angel holding you upon my breast
feeding you the elixir of life;
now, I am the one you beat and bleed;
now, I retreat into thick black drapes,
now I hide in caves.
I am your Laxmi, your strength,
your Khadija, your Mary Magdalene!
How long can I bear the burden
of being a fragment?
How long shall I speak a language
That is not my own? How long
will you clip my wings and cut my tongue
and hold a broken mirror to my truthful visage?
How long shall I have to wait
until I am finally free.
Photo is Wikimedia creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Dr Shruti Das
Dr Shruti Das is Associate professor English in Berhampur University in Odisha, India. She is a creative writer with poetry published Nationally and Internationally and also a literary critic, writing bilingually in English and her native tongue Odia. She has published two collection of poems named “A Daughter Speaks (2013)” and “Lidless Eyes(2015)” has been published in Anthologies like “Inspired Heart 2″, “Inspired Heart 3”, “Scaling Heights” and “Colours of Refuge” to name a few. She has participated in many Seminars on English language and literature in India and Europe. She is sensitive to social issues, loves to travel and to dream. She loves animals.
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