Women-Introducing Rishika Sangeeta

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[Poem by Rishika Sangeeta]

women are told
lies before they even understand the concept of truth
taught to be softer
sweeter
smile more
laugh less
lower your eyes you insolent witch
taught to unravel like a carpet beneath a man’s feet

there is a place for a young girls dreams
your mother tells you at 12
and it hangs itself inside closets
tucks itself silent and simmering in her snarling curls
perfumes the house with the aroma of spices and bitter compromise
you will understand when you are older she says
and her eyes shine at you like a sickle moon in an empty sky
too tired to put up a fight

women are taught
to belong
to surrender
like sheep led to slaughterhouses innocent of your deceit

women are taught
to quicken their pace as day passes into the jaws of black night
the dark hides terrors little one
and animal lust
and the only voice she hears is her mother’s
and it whispers
run!

women are taught
their bodies are commodities to be bought and sold to the highest bidder
her mother is careful to call it dowry
a bride price
as if the safe trappings of tradition and culture
somehow censors the truth
that she never belonged to herself
she never would

in this world
a woman willing to claim herself
is deadly
dangerous
an outlier

but listen to me
you belong first to the call in your veins
to the pulse in your throat
to this shell that carries you
battered and bruised through
the quagmire of living
and you are powerful
merely for existing
for enduring
for loving

never forget that


[Rishika Sangeeta is a therapist in training and a writer of romantic prose and poetry. She spends hours in communion with the dark and her heart in a constant quest to unearth some meaning from the mayhem of living.]

Virginity- Rishika Sangeeta

Rishika resized

they tell me my skin is parchment
meant to bear the imprint of a man’s hungry hands
that if I should come already ink stained,
a story unfurling like a runway behind me
then I am tainted, unworthy,
I carry the disease of another man’s touch on my soul
and how can that make me pure?
how can that have left me whole?

Whole for whom? I ask them.
They titter, purse their lips,
call me a child and a fool.
So I stand my ground,
craft every wound into a grenade,
turn my words into a warzone
where some find shelter,
and some find flames

I tell them I will stay
tainted as I am
I tell them that a love that cannot hold space for all of me
is not Love at all
I tell them their sons have ruined countless women already
and if there is no room for us here
then there is no forgiveness,
no absolution on Heaven or Earth
for the sins of their flesh
I tell them my body has known violence,
my heart has known loss,
and if their sons cannot see me for who I truly am
then it is I who do not want them


Rishika Sangeeta is a therapist in training and a writer of romantic prose and poetry. She spends hours in communion with the dark and her heart in a constant quest to unearth some meaning from the mayhem of living.