Because they couldn’t kill me before I was born
they try to throw me off every cliff, into flames and push me into deranged arms
Blame me for straying too near the edge
Praise me to high heavens when I am defeated/broken/ dead
Decorate my rotting corpse with candlelight vigils
Call me their favourite warrior names for losing the fight and my life
as if my purpose and theirs
was finally achieved by my mutilation and demise

The highest powers of my land want me to be raped not once; their vicarious pleasure increases by leaps and bounds when I am smashed in
on my own bed everyday
They will continue to come for me
to atone for my survival in my mother’s womb,
and in the little space around
they have so helpfully chalked out for me

My mother too is a lawful victim
After all she married a man who sowed his seed
but knew not how to father a rational offspring

Marry and you right every wrong
Marry and you cure every flaw
Marry and you shall live
(In hell if need be)
Marry and you can legalise death
and banish all thoughts of living

Reena R. is from India but lives presently in Sharjah . She is the recipient of the Reuel Prize for Poetry 2018. She has co- edited two anthologies and is a practicing poet.




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