Friday, February 21, 2014


They tell me I am
stepping beyond limits
crossing lines that
I, possessing Womb and
Breasts and Hips and Vagina (!),
have no right loitering close to.
And yet, the audacity.

That I am a woman,
a woman and a Muslim,
 and because
“We don’t do that”
“We aren’t like them”
I become 'We'.
Without consent,
without inquiry about
selves that live within me-

Instead, the selves
I must mould myself into
are outside,
suppressing and stifling
my lovingly crafted universe,
preparing it for Propriety
and Culture and Expectations
and Womanhood-
surely, I should know my true place?

What does it mean to be
born the “weaker” sex?
When the adjective sticks
and stubbornly refuses to
 like that stain on
your favourite white shirt
that never quite disappears,
and you scrub away until
the fabric is worn, until it is torn-
but the stain,
the stain is resilient,
mocking  you.

That my strength,
my will and my
identity inconsequential,
that I am daughter and sister,
then I am wife and  mother,
but I always belong to others-
god forbid I blaspheme
and declare Autonomy,
declare that I am Human,
proclaim my personhood-
equilibrium as ‘we’ know it
will shatter and
the world collapse.

When your moral universe
thrives at the expense of mine,
and I watch as you plunder.
This is what out-of-body feels like-
 asphyxiation and
slowly descent into death.