Self-Portrait as a Genderless Woman

The wind is genderless.
The patriarchs of my land call nature a mother.
A mother is a kaleidoscopic mural, uncontrollable
like the frequency of a broken radio.
I sit in my Daewoo Racer and deep-throat
Cookies ‘n’ Cream, soft linens spurting in my mouth.
Here, where I am, I am invisible
like unused china clinking in the kitchen cabinet;
a relic of womanhood from my mother.
My hair, doused in grey palette, resists
the youthfulness of my camel-soft skin.
Women threaten their daughters to stay away,
I am an abandoned lesson on propriety.
This horse cart that gallops past me is a horseless
vehicle, causing a mayhem in the graveyards
beneath Rawalpindi. I think of my eyes;
wild with wayfaring tears. The passive menagerie inside,
raging softly. One has to learn to break the regiments,
to pat the farm-eyed creature, unbraid her sepia mane.
The only way to taste an ice cream is to pronounce
it a sweet felony on the tongue, to become a little less
invisible in the rearview mirror. I don’t want to swallow
so soon this genderless woman I am becoming:
a rocket-minaret, thrusting through rocky mounds.

Hiba Heba is an English-language poet from Pakistan. She is a graduate student of English literature and linguistics. She has a micro-chapbook, Grief is a Firefly, published by Origami Poems Project, 2021. Hiba’s poem “Morning Prayer” is the First Runner-up for the New Feathers Award 2021. Her poems have appeared in Fragmented Voices, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Wild Word, The Ofi Press Magazine, The Punch Magazine, among others. Her debut poetry collection, Birth of a Mural, will be published by Golden Dragonfly Press. She can be found on Instagram as: hiba.heba_.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.