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you can’t drown me in your gendered verbiage 

remember, it’ll be flung at you in fiery lumps:

it’ll drown the pillar-like rock, (you seem to be) boomeranging whatever you’ve said,

like  lava after a volcano’s  eruption!


you can’t dunk me in tame clothes

they cover me, not your eyes that spy!

your gaze- blazes my bones sunk under tamed layers! ouch your gaze, it destroys…

like lava after a volcano’s eruption!


my broken heart, is tied in knots of rituals

I yearn to skip when tied in flaring menstrual skirts;

with the bridal knot, my passion and identity flail and die

and then you thrust the white garb! as if you’re asking the volcanic lava to vent…


you forget, beneath this  social mantle my being smolders

womanhood like warm magma simmers

you forget, the warmth of womanhood enlivens the earth!

yet each time you scar me, like the vented lava, I burn.


nothing, not widow’s weeds, neither perfidy, nor  blasphemy!

nothing can stifle the warmth, that lights up 

your passion, 

And continues to sparkle in your child’s eyes, 

ah I celebrate! can’t you hear me sing? …like  lava, I become farmers’ silt!


Mumtaz N Khorakiwala


Picture courtesy : Tom Watkins


picture courtesy: Manyu Varma

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