• The Feminist Times

Why?

Sylvia plath writes about

eating men like air and

somewhere in a bar

a man ogles at a woman

quoting Plath,

he doesn't know

how her blood boils

when she reads from Ariel,

he doesn't know that soon

her flames will consume him.

Some where in the east

a girl lies on the bed

in cheap lingerie

waiting for her husband

to ravish her ,

he doesn't know

she prepares a bath

of boiling water everyday

to dissolve in later on,

today she hides the

knife beneath her pillow.

I write poems about

a boy I swear

I'm in love with ,

heartbreak made romantic

with pretty words,a drape over my eyes


darker than night

Today I write about how

he's kind only

to beautiful women ,

how expendable we all are

to his icy heart

Words sharp enough to be

Plunged right through it.

In the office break

my mother

smokes a cigarette

behind the canteen

In case people notice

Today she'll burn her saree in between slow drags

They'll see

How fire doesn't hurt her

Because she's made from it.

My little sister turns the saree

into a cape

Paints her lips red

Calls herself a superhero

Today I won't correct her

Tell her it's her call if

she wants to save the world

wearing lipstick and stilettos.

For we are made of

Smoke and fire

Not pretty metaphors

We are ugly, when you

remove the airbrush

We are sweat,blood ,dirt, pain

We are the daughters

of chaos so beautiful

That the world stares

In our country

they worship women idols

Somewhere in a battered

history book

I read how people

worshipped those

they were most scared of

I wonder how many sacrifices

It took to get rid of nightmares

All riddled with women

emerging stronger

How many girls

Had to be killed at birth

To ensure our submissiveness

Yet with hands tied

And wings clipped

We rise from ashes

Like a Phoenix

Only real

We are the ghosts

Of the women gone

Striving to break free

From the pages

Where you make us

look beautiful when

in reality we were

so dangerous that

You had to make us

into stories

Watered down

with tragic deaths.

The kohl rimmed eyes

The red moths

The pale skin

They reek of death and blood

And not cologne

Think for a second

What happens when

you unleash us

What happens when

we look you in the eye

and ask you

WHY?


- Aindrila Banerjee


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