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Rat snake at Pazhakulam, Kerala                               Pic: Reena Prasad

Other Tongue


From being hissed at too much, we have become venom

gliding glibly over your bristles, our skin speaking a new language
you cannot decipher without a forked tongue

Feeding you your poison, remaining untouched at the core
Strengthened by the knowledge you lack
Mimicking your insecurities
but also mocking them while being subdued by the weight of your bones

The chains have shifted from soft bodies to minds mired in myths
pampered by obedience and shrunk from disuse
The knots are no longer where they were once put
The fabric has changed and the woman in it has ridden off

Liberty now moves like a breast drummed upon by the rain
and no longer wears heels, fishnet or your name
What you still clutch at is clay of your making
How little you read of what we write on our skins!

©Reena Prasad
Published in the mini anthology on 19th August 2016
An Anthology of Poems Dedicated to World Humanitarian Day

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