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Kamala Das

(31 March 1934 – 31 May 2009 / Punnayurkulam, Thrissur District in Kerala)

The Looking Glass


Getting a man to love you is easy
Only be honest about your wants as
Woman. Stand nude before the glass with him
So that he sees himself the stronger one
And believes it so, and you so much more
Softer, younger, lovelier. Admit your
Admiration. Notice the perfection
Of his limbs, his eyes reddening under
The shower, the shy walk across the bathroom floor,
Dropping towels, and the jerky way he
Urinates. All the fond details that make
Him male and your only man. Gift him all,
Gift him what makes you woman, the scent of
Long hair, the musk of sweat between the breasts,
The warm shock of menstrual blood, and all your
Endless female hungers. Oh yes, getting
A man to love is easy, but living
Without him afterwards may have to be
Faced. A living without life when you move
Around, meeting strangers, with your eyes that
Gave up their search, with ears that hear only
His last voice calling out your name and your
Body which once under his touch had gleamed
Like burnished brass, now drab and destitute.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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  • Rookie Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan (8/25/2013 1:33:00 PM)

    Feminist poetry at its best. I think it is an open challenge to Men. Women can easily make men love them by throwing before them armpit's sweat, periodic blood, curly hairs and polished skin - just like one would throw bread crumbs and dry bones before a dog! Superb writing though. Kamala is a powerful poet of human emotions. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 833 Points Soumita Sarkar (6/12/2013 12:39:00 AM)

    A poem that looks at love and lust and then a destitute on street in absence of the touch.Loved it! (Report) Reply

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