my mouth burns every time you ask
me for my “full” name, with that derisive look to your brow
where in your ladder of torture are you going to put me?
above whom and below what?;
there’s means to be just a human yet
that I haven’t discovered in your eyes
tiny little embers of ancestral cruelty
you glint in a bed of dry hay
what will trigger you to spit the words
resting behind that smiling polite, facade
“saalo ki aukat hi hai yeh”
or maybe you won’t be that crass,
after all you’re much too upper class
maybe you won’t refuse to drink my water,
since we’re friends and all, but my son will
murk up the blood of your daughter?
there’s a joy in my heart, at being debased for now I don’t have to wait, wait, wait in lying for years, to watch out for your parents, your friends, your colleagues and who you’ll hmm away with in silent agreement
now you’ve opened your mouth, I’m glad, I really am. Let your forest burn. You’ve shown me where you stand, now it’s time for me to smile and step back and run.
Deepshikha Gangwar is an amateur poet from a small town in Uttar Pradesh. She identifies as queer, believes in intersectional feminism and likes to binge watch shounen anime.