Color of a Woman

Rita Bhattacharjee

            Blood red
            cherry red
            vermilion red—
red is my chosen color tonight.
I choose red lest the world forgets
            I can speak out
            for my rights
            for my choices
            for myself.

They warn me it’s
            a ploy
            a trap
to make a mannequin of me,
to make me vain, vacuous,
to take away from
my worth,
my esteem
my image.

I let the red glide on my lips regardless,
contouring them in phallic caresses—
the strokes painting a bow of

My lips have
oozed blood
            birthed life
            swallowed pain
                        every day
                        every month
                        year after year—
I choose red lest the world forgets
            the spirit
            the agony
            the resilience
of the scarlet woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment