my breasts offend my father
even more than my opinions;
it’s the size that’s insolent — bursting
out of t-shirts, spilling
out of kameezes that hang
demurely on any other girl.
the most mundane actions inspire a filial
mistrust that extends well beyond your
garden-variety middle-class moral suspicion:
going out for coffee with a friend, being on the phone;
in our lounge, leaning back
dupatta-less on the couch becomes
an act of sexual rebellion.
my sisters get hugs;
I, at best, get awkward back-pats.
felt up by a darzi at 10, groped by a driver at 11,
and too many times to count since; intrusive
hands years of poor posture couldn’t deflect.
I envy other women their ability to wear
their sexuality like a mask, to take
off and put on as they please
and, not least, I envy them
their delicates that actually
look delicate; mine, all hefty
cotton and industrial-strength
underwire, look just like armor.
fortunately, though, the man I love
~ Hira A
Hira A is an editor, writer, feminist, and snob. She has strong opinions about issues that are usually of negligible interest to the rest of the world.