Oh, you should have seen the look on her face
When I told her I knew exactly what she means:
The bags of burden she had been carrying
Hidden from plain sight, being allowed, finally, to come into view for a while,
To be placed on the sofa atop which we sat, crossing their legs in carefree contentment, smoking away at their cigars,
laid bare for both our eyes to understand that indeed, both our eyes, understood.
When I catapulted the words, “Me too” into still air,
You should have heard the sigh of relief that cascaded from her lips:
A waterfall, formerly damned behind that godawful dam
Of “You must not say that. What will others think?
You have failed us as a woman. What pathetic excuse is this, for femininity?
And though it is we who have hurt you, though they are our heavinesses
that you perish, incrementally, beneath the weight of each day
It is still with womanly grace and beauty that you must approach that good night,
With bruised eyes and mango pickle smiles, you will rejoice in the abyss, grateful and light.”
Sadia Ahmed, 2019