Note: I wrote this poem a few years ago stirred by the tragedy of a friend. I thought about publishing it here after a friend suggested that some women may appreciate the feminist imagery.
This was years later since
Her mother used to wake her on dewy mornings,
Calling her Houri; her beauty; her heart.
And she would marvel at herself
By puckering her lips and pinching her rosy cheeks redder,
And sighing deeply so her bosom would heave;
All for the reflection in the mirror.
This was soon after he whisked her away
On a white horse that galloped faster than she could sigh
To keep her locked in his white-washed clay fort.
No matter how long she stood against them,
The solid ashen walls did not reflect.
So she puckered and pinched and sighed blindly;
All for the reflection in his eyes.
But they were as dreary as the walls –
Dull, yet fiery; carnal but passionless.
Oh, those sweltering beads of sweat that deposited on his brow;
And the blue veins that swelled up on his large brown hands;
That Satanic smile that lingered just at the edges of his almost indigo mouth;
And the bull-like nostrils which flared when he inhaled deeply;
Just at the sight of her nubile body!
The Lance wages war inside the Tilth;
This, she was never told.
She knocked and knocked on the slammed shut doors of Compassion
Till her knuckles bled and opened raw
And fingernails left gaping wounds in the posh goose-down.
“Omi, he forces himself upon me every night!” she cried into her armpit.
“What nonsense?! There is no rape in marriage! It is manly love
For a young and rosy wife, my child.”
The blue spot on her thigh where he left his thumb print
In his bid to balance and pull up straight;
The purple one on her left shoulder blade where he bit
To control the lunging beast inside;
And that invisible gash on her soul that he left forever
In the name of marital union were all for
The lawful wife to whom he came as he willed.
It burned and scorched and singed forever,
Forever, and forever; she knew eternity well.
Eternity is when you scream silently
Swallowing the putrid blood that drips inside your throat
With each thrust, nibble, and tug.
Eternity is when you could devour your own womb,
Just because there is no rape in marriage!
They said she couldn’t refuse her man
They told her to make haste when he calls
So she stripped her soul and let it sit at the foot of the bed
While the flesh lay cold on colder red satin sheets
But something went terribly wrong; for the soul cursed her all night,
Each night; while the angels never blessed her for
All that she endured in the name of matrimony.
Between his heavy, odorous breaths in her neck
She looked up and saw the Spirit clinging onto the pallid ceiling
Looking directly into her lifeless eyes and she knew then
She would always be cursed and wait perpetually to be blessed.
So on a summer’s night she ran clutching the hand of her Spirit
Between the two giant mounds,
Under her feet gushed forth springs of fresh blood.
That night her spirit and she ascended to the Heavens
And they say she looks down from among the stars
To bless young married couples in love
Who see their reflections in each others’ eyes
And speak sweet words of Love into each others’ ears.
She blesses neither al-sakouti, nor al-besiss
For Silence and Insolence make a deadly duo.
Her Spirit returns every summer on a silent night
To wake her Omi just like she used to wake her once upon a time
The old woman hurriedly shrouds the mirrors
Because they can’t reflect her Houri anymore
She whispers in her Omi’s elderly ear
A secret her Omi never knew she would live to hear
Just because she thought there is no rape in marriage.