Friday Night

Skinny legs, wide hips.
Small boobs, big bum.
None&neither are a reason for you to look at me.
You do anyway.

Because I’m an Indian woman and you’re an Indian man.
And that seems to give you a free pass.

To look me up and down.
To leer, to lech.
To do that ‘thing’ with your eyes so I feel unclean inside.

We’re not in India.
We live in a country where you’d be punished.
Severely. You don’t care.

I swear at you. You smile.
I bend down to slip off my chappal.
You inch closer. My anger is a turn-on.

You only notice when another Indian (man) towers over you.
He threatens. You run.
Not before sending me one last lingering look.

And I was left feeling nothing.
Because I’ve had worse than a look.
I’ve had the attentions of Mr. Grope.
Mr. Arm Graze. Mr. Boob Swipe. Mr. Ass Pinch.

What I’m left with now is anger that I wasn’t angry enough.
How easily I shrugged it off. Pretended it never happened.
When it happened outside my own home.

What I’m left with now is a secret hope that I see you again.
So I can take your head. And bash it against the dashboard of a car.
So I can grab your arm. And stub my lit cigarette on it.

I’m an Indian woman and you’re an Indian man.
I think I have a free pass.
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