In which Sara uses poetry to undo stereotypes that run through our society — raw, naked and unabashedly so.
If there was one thing
That I recollect from my history lessons,
It was the invasions.
I imagined what they were like.
Map a place. Trace it’s veins and flows.
Then pierce your spear right through them.
Tear, until all the blood of that land smears the weapons.
And then rewrite the map, such that no traces of the old are left.
Who suffers the most?
The one who remembers what her map looked like.
She breathes to catch that smell of the wood-fire,
Her eyes always searching those corners where she secretly shared the stars with the boy she loved.
But she quite can’t remember them, she shudders.
Her identity. Her beauty.
A puzzle of all those starry nights and lost smells.
Lost in a place with lanes she no longer recognises.
I read these words last night in a room full of people.
When they looked back at me with wide eyes and blank faces,
I told them.
I told them, that this is what rape is.
And then there was silence.
So I chose to break it.
When her skin feels like a dirt path,
Stomped by foot prints
That entered her forests
And strangled her breath with her hair.
The only voices in her memory
Are those of her screams
But she can’t even scream anymore
Because the voice ceases to exist.
Now the dimples on her face,
Feel like craters on the moon.
Jagged and lifeless.
And those legs that she swirled on,
She can’t bear their sight.
But she’s a fighter because she cries like thunderstorms.
She’s trying to grow new skin.
But not a gentle, carefree cover.
She’s writing words.
Words that will devour your minds.
Every time, you try to analyse what happened.
No child ever wants to lose the way home.
And if you, for any of your ‘causes’,
Invade the child’s path.
You become that cause.
Sara Sethia is Senior Program Officer, Art Initiatives at One Future Collective.
I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!
Pride with OFC, 2022
Who decides what queerness looks like?