In which Sara uses poetry to undo stereotypes that run through our society — raw, naked and unabashedly so.
For what is beauty, darling?
The burnt edge of a letter
The blood between
Those eyes, all black kohl
And hair, all tangled and knotty
Callous ridden hands, weaving passion incessantly
Dark moons under those beautiful eyes, your ornament
Scathed knees tracing stories words don’t suffice
Lose arms hanging like star-beds circumambulating the moons
Don’t let them make you believe
That pretty is white
And black a crime
Honey, after all love is made
Under the black skies
Patches and scars
All cellulite, with an inch of tanned skin
Like the flowers
The jagged barks of fat trunks
The shabby twigs of a nest
The ruffled bulge of the birds
Flaunt your branches and leaves
Pamper your flowers
For the universe wouldn’t awe you
If it wasn’t black
And the flowers wouldn’t woo you
If they were lean
And the nests wouldn’t procreate, love
If they were rigid.
A wrinkled old smile
As the young maiden’s gleam
For if words restricted beauty,
What would poets write about?
Sara Sethia is a Research Associate (Gender Justice) at One Future Collective.
Illustration by Priyanshi Vakharia
Indigenous Climate Activist in India / South Asia | Earth Day 2022
Feminist Justice and Trauma-Informed Support in Institutions
Human Rights and the Role of Civil Society