Body Language: An Anthology of Parts

Part I


I am on your head,

Dense, like a dragon’s lair.

But everywhere else, 

Trimmed, shaped, 

Shaved, and curled,

Ripped by the roots.

Sometimes coloured red,

Others blue.

Did you notice the change

When they look at you?

Long for her, short for him,

That is the rule.

Because length, apparently,

Is a part of self-care, and

Also implication of gender affiliation.

Oh, don’t let them 

Trap you in the tower, Rapunzel,

Take away your magic.

Light each curly wisp 

with a star, dear Tarzan.

Burn the lair if you want.

Let all else grow.

Through lashes blazing 

with a fiery glow,

Watch while they

Write a song about your moustache.

//Part II


I am your first scar

From the cord

That connected you to ma,

Proof that you have inherited more from her than just anxiety

And love for shawarma.

I am now that useless part,

The button on your belly,

Once your source of nutrition,

That still needs attention.

Innies and outies,

Inhibition and intimidation.

Hide me, take cover!

Don’t let them see or know

That I exist down below.

Shirt an inch longer

And I will be as good as gone,

Like white in the snow.


Lift that top up a notch,

Push the pants down a bit.

Innies and outies,

Freedom of expression.

And if you like it,

You can also put a ring on it.

//Part III


I am at your fingertips,

Between your teeth,

Opening jar lids,

Carrying the day’s dirt,

Signifying your hard word;

At times, even your sexuality,

Through my length,

Stereotyping your personality;

Your self-defence,

Partner in crime,

Your calm in times of anxiety.

Come on, girl,

So don’t be scared,

Of patriarchy, that man in the dark alley.

Don’t be scared, dear boy,

Of homophobia or heteronormativity.

I am dead tissue,

And also metal,

Hit me at the right places,

And I will help you keep it together.

Vandana Likhmania

Vandana is a fat, feminist, writer whose works have been published on several online platforms. As a gender studies and history scholar, she takes a special interest in the eerie smells of dilapidated dwellings, the dilemmas of being a woman, the poetry in prosaic sentences, motion pictures, and rock music. She often forgets what day it is while watching British panel shows. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram (@vanwritemania)

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