When I turned ten,
I was taught to stay deaf
even when strangers dedicated a verbal erotica
as a lullaby to my prepubescent self.
When I turned twelve,
I was taught to stay mute
even when an acquaintance always lost his pen,
which magically reappeared every time,
right between my thighs.
When I turned sixteen,
I was taught to stay blind
even when the man, with his hand between his pants
undressed me with his eyes.
When I turned eighteen,
I was taught to stay numb
even when a crowded bus turned into
a pervert’s paradise.
My ears have shut down, my eyes are closed;
My tongue is sliced and my heart is broke
I’ve become so numb; every touch feels cold
I don’t belong in my skin anymore.
So if my body is your pleasure for a price;
What more should I pay,
to claim back what’s rightfully mine?
Copyright © Vaishnavi Nandakumar | Year Posted 2020