The Haphazard Geometry of My Body by Shiuli Dutta

They used to fling their words at me, mama,
Reckless, harsh and cruel,
And I used to suck in my stomach,
I didn’t let them burrow into the folds of my flesh.

They used to laugh at me, mama,
Sounds so sharp, they wounded my spine,
I tried to disappear, mama,
But their arrows lodged themselves in my back.

They singled me out from the crowd,
The jiggle of my arms and the sway of my hips,
I gave up, mama; I laid down my flimsy armour,
I let their words dig into my flesh.

They slipped through my porous skin,
They built shanties around my bones,
Their words were squatters, mama,
They settled in; they were stubborn.

I’m 21 and a half now; a woman grown,
Their arrows have lost their poison,
And my body has grown around them,
I’m not all soft; I have edges and corners.

Oh mama, I was Godiva on a mare,
My spirit traversed naked through the lanes of my body,
I drove them all out,
These squatters taxing my soul.

It’s me, your babygirl,
I have given up wearing shame,
I learnt that I am a mountain,
And mama, mountains don’t hide.


Leave a Reply