I Won't Let You

I won’t let you tell me that 
My stretch marks need to stay hidden.
My smile needs to be smaller.
My body needs to shrink.
My voice is loud.
My hair is wild. 
My thighs are huge. 
My attitude is bold.
My lust is a sin. 
My anger is unnecessary.

I won’t let you tell me that
I often forget my place.
I am beneath you.
I am ungraceful.
I need to be protected. 
I need to be taken care of. 
I need to be tamed.
I need to be more like a woman.

I won’t let you tell me any of it
And get away with it.

I am a woman and this is what I look like.

I fold and unfold parts of my skin as I grow.
My stretch marks are the story of my skin. 
I smile and giggle and laugh.
My mouth is not an invitation. 
I worship my body, it’s a goddess.
You don’t tell a deity to shrink, now do you?
My opinions are louder than my voice.
My hair has a life of their own.
My thighs are in love and can’t stay an inch away from each other. 
My attitude is just a trailer for what might be next.
My lust only makes me more human.
My anger is the need of the hour.

And I know my place very well.
It’s either by your side or way ahead of you. 
My grace is how I carry myself and not how I look.
Protectors are often predators. So stay away. 
And sometimes even you need someone to take care of you.
Don’t try to tame me, cage me or put me in chains. 
I’d walk free from the shackles.

And you know why? 
Because that makes me more like a woman.

 © Apoorva Bora

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