Body Image

some days i wonder
what people see
when they look at me

is it the brown of my kohl’d eyes
the volumnous curl of my hair
the fall of my earrings
or the redness of my lips

is it the flesh of my hand,
loosely hanging
the width of my waist
the hugeness of my breasts or my hips
my unfemininity

is it the doubleness of my chin
the never ending thighs
or the tightness of my clothes
bought in speciality stores
because i do not fit within their profit margins

sometimes when friends proclaim to each other
how amazing is he for dancing with her at the night club
or when i talk to cute boys who seem to like me back
or when i am the object of someone’s physical desire

then i wonder
who people see me as-
a person, or a fat person.


To the gods in Kathua

did the gods cry when they heard her screams?
when she thought of monsters under the bed,
did the gods feel guilty?
when she was scared, and trembling,
did they wonder how to get out of their prisons?

did the gods feel ashamed?
when the monsters rang their bells
and punished her for the ostensible crimes of her ancestors
on both sides who spread nothing but hate
in the name of fictions they believed,
did the gods feel ashamed?

did the gods feel anger?
did they rage, rage, rage
while her life faded away
in the hands of the monsters
pretending to be guardians?

did the gods care?
while a young body was annihilated
to satiate a thirst for vengeance
the fires of which their ancestors kindled
when they were gluttonous?

why did the gods not care?
why did they not start a raging tempest
an irate tornado, a turbulent hailstorm
against the pathetic, fallacious monsters
masquerading as mere mortal men?

why did the gods not care?
why did they not break their bangles
and adorn themselves in white
and walk themselves into unholy fire-

for what use of reverence,
when monsters take turns to anhilate young bodies in gods name?
when monsters exterminate,
and hate everyone who isn’t the same
when monsters laugh and feel no remorse?

why did the gods not dissolve themselves in shame?

Untouchable- Part 6

we pluck petals
to measure love
loves me,
loves me not

we don’t pluck
pieces of people
hair, skin, blood, bones
love me,
loves me not

but why
do we pluck pieces
off you?
but not enough

wedding nights
you clear the bed
and the mats
and the glasses
and ashes-
remnants of the cleaning fire
loves me

a day off
when your son
takes off
on a journey
for social mobility
loves me not

a day off
your daughter’s wedding
to the love of her life
who stays
a million miles away
loves me not

a day off
when your mother
my nanny
is wheezing
loves me not

a day off
to pick up the pieces
your father has passed
i let you
i’m generous
loves me not

we pluck out
pieces of your
untouchable self
loves me,
loves me not