How To Drape A Sari

Tie together loops around your
waist, tight enough to bite into
your soft belly (a little reminder
of the diet you’re on, the thirteenth
this year), tuck in one layer of
silky crêpe in, pressing down
each inch with the same force you
use to dig your nails into your
palms every time you’re told to
keep shut, start folding accordion
folds, each as wide as half a
handspan, the smaller, the better –
just like you, creased into yourself
because taking space looks unkempt,
and rude – start wrapping the
shaded purple leaves onto your
body, each overlap covering up
the anger you carefully pin to
your chest, diagonally to where your
lungs lie, each breath a reminder to
keep quiet, keep calm, keep still,
culminating in a half-mast flag
fluttering down your back, caressing
your tailbone as you walk tall,
accepting compliments for your
cultured values, agility, and skill.

Harnidh Kaur is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy. Her first book, The Inability of Words, is slated for a 2016 release.

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