Who does my body belong to?
I should think it belongs to me
Unlike my eccentric lover
who wants to possess it,
He says ‘you are mine’
like I am a piece of land or a herd of goats
that graze the Alpine pastures of Kashmir.
The night after the hurricane
often my body shivers feels like a refugee
crouching in the bushes with a kukri in my hand
guarded and armed,
awareness creeps into my skin
when a pair of eyes look at my unrobed flesh
piercing through and through,
at that moment I hate
I hate with my gut-wrenching mouth that curses the evil,
Come sunset I will forget everything
and tame my mind to cut off that feeling.
Sometimes my body is a bric-a-brac of fallopian tubes
moving ahead like a traveler with a florescent lantern
the womb, a cocoon
safe, nurturing for the next life,
never believed I would give birth
to another tiny body,
until I held her,
how she slept in the warm comfort of my body
did she know she was her own body now,
do they ever.
My body belongs to me and me alone,
the soft velvety peach belongs to my mouth,
the magenta nail varnish belongs to my toe nails,
the sweet words of love to my ears,
the dark enchanting kohl to my wide eyes.
Look at me if you please but mind the gap
lest I swing my double-edged sword.
-Gayatri Lakhiani Chawla
‘Body’ is from the book ‘The Empress’