My body is not an apology – Megha Sood

This body–
my body is not an apology
it’s a prayer
Forgiveness wrapped in the filigrees end of my skin
frayed at the ends
battered for so long
by your pointy convictions
and cookie-cutter rules which try
to shape and mold this body along

My body is not an apology
it doesn’t desire to fit in a frame
mapped inch by inch
else they are ashamed
My body is not an apology
its a roar, a declaration
an unapologetic
unabashed
straight truth in your face
a war cry,
a deafening scream from the silence

My body is not an apology
this body will not be mapped
a benchmark for beauty,
an attempt to hide the crows-feet
or the spider veins
from your vile eyes
and your forked tongue

My body is not an apology
but a safe haven
an epitome of affection,
a metaphor for crimson love
which flows in my veins for years to come

My body is not an apology
It’s an eye of the storm
a dance of destruction,
safe haven for life
forgiveness in disguise

With love neatly folded in the wrinkles of skin
warmth oozing from every pore of my skin
a lesson etched in very single crows feet
forgiveness written through every inch of my spider veins
this body is not an apology–
but a profound lesson
a triumphant proclamation;
An unfettered declaration.


Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

How to be a woman? – Megha Sood

There are rules to be followed
guidelines to be remembered
regulations to be followed
to the T.

before I can call myself a woman
a lady like appearance–
an ever-present grin on my face
smiling from ear to ear,
just to ease you into the life
as you please.

I should bow down in obedience
should never raise my voice
walk with the stoop of discipline
and eat with your hand.
With the freedom, you have handed me on the plate
Like I was the chosen one, you see

Oh! that skirt is a little shorter than we expected
see it clearly fails to keep those lurking demon
inside their skin.
Now, you have shown them
too much flesh
now they will come out
will rip you into shreds
and devour your soul from within.

“I told you” they will say
keep your voice down
the patriarchy can’t handle you pitch
they are tone-deaf to your songs of freedom
every war cry of yours
is not more than a mere screech

Give in to the fear of those jackals
those protectors lurking in the dark
they are the guardians,
the unabashed kings
of this society.

So next time the world tries to
teach me how to be a women
/an epitome of grace and elegance/
they should come and witness the scars
I bore on my body.

and the glow I carry
which can put their
thousand suns to shame
a sight their shameful eyes
can’t bear to see.


Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at https://meghasworldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

Are You Fucking New Here?- A Weyward Sisters Collaboration

Originally published on Sudden Denouement

You dropped by today
dissected my verse
thoughtfully pointed out
all the ways I could
smooth out my edges
improve flow
to slide more gently past
your discerning eyes
you must be fucking new here
if you think
I was asking for it
not a fan of unsolicited advice
my “friend”
I like my truth
raw
bloody
with a hint of lemon for acidity
that stings going down

(Christine E. Ray)

Oh, hello,
I didn’t see you there
although I can already tell you like to stare,
as if it is your obligation
to females everywhere.
And everywhere you seem to be.
You’re the type who lingers in keyboards,
assaulting our letters
with ones you would never dare to speak.
You’re the type who visits galleries just to sigh,
point out the vulvas in the petals
and tut at a landscape you’ve never visited.
You’re the type who slumps way down in the theatre,
feigning sleep during her monologue
because it is ‘feminist and shit’, and yet
she’ll be the only one on your mind
when you reach down tonight.
Oh, how do I know this? 
Why, because you always come back for more.
For more of my letters, pretty letters,
your coeliac stomach cannot wait to reject.

(Kristiana Reed)

You stab me with a misplaced comma’s edge,
expect me to bleed ink, but I blossom gold
leaf, like pages of a holy tome, and your
lines of prose crackle in my burning gale.
I am more word than woman, you see
and I am truth, your haunting just ghost
of all those who said no, who pushed me
down stairs of paragraphs, but I got grit,
I grew wings of paper, from you I fly.

(Allie Nelson)

hey you there –
with the pursed lips
and furrowed brow
click-clacking
your studied
critical analysis
of these driblets
of my life’s blood.
you must be fucking new here
if you mistake
the penning
of my soul
upon the page
as a request
for literary critique.
this, here
is the juice of my carotid
scrawled with fingertips
as I apply
tourniquet and poultice.
your worded attempts
to package my agony
into neat and tidy
boxes
are ill-advised salt flakes
poured into my wounds.

(Aurora Phoenix)

Soft upon the scene
He entered
Mushy odorless rambling
Entailed:
“Darling, how are you faring?
Your words are dancing in my soul
Your star shines upon my dreams.”
going after me
Feeling my every words’ step
With a presumptuous club
White and black penned music
That clawed silence to my ears:
“You are the brightest…
Fade away, you heartless beast!”

(Iulia Halatz)

i picked up my pen and out came all of me.
it poured and poured,
filling space with untrained words and anarchy,
sharpened love, feelings bent,
a keenness breathed without judgement,
ink balled with mercy
into something of me that might speak in truth.
but you sat and held your cup,
and watched it spill.
you put it in your cabinet
with a yellow note: ‘could do better.’
i would those curling lips
might taste the poison in the teacup
between your eyes;
that is where the horror really lies.

(Lois E. Linkens)

You must be new here, because tact and common decency seem lost on you. You see, it is not okay to call a woman by any other name than the one she has given — so don’t call me Baby and I won’t call you Tiny. It is not okay to insert yourself in my life and assume I need your sage advice — if I want to know, I will ask. Do not presume to know what I am thinking, or what my heart is trying to say — because you can be damn sure that if I wrote the words, I meant each and every one of them. I’m not perfect, and I never claimed to be, but I don’t need a lecture on semantics or grammar — I’ve had more than enough schooling and experience to know my own mind. But, if you really are new here, remember this one simple rule: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
(Sarah Doughty)

You enter my house and
manhandle my verse. You
wonder why my
heart spurts crimson with
every heavy beat—
pressure me for information.
Why so mocking?
Why so angry?
Why the foul language? Bitch,
you must be fucking new here
if you expect an
explanation.
Cos I don’t answer stupid
questions.
Grow a brain, and
get a clue.

(Kindra M. Austin)