I wear my red stain on the lips, and you fear me. I am a trollop, a harlot and a whore.
I wipe that red stain off my lips, and you crave to control me. I am an innocent, untouched, still fresh.
How easy, is it not? To change from woman to woman from the colour of her lips.
As easy as it is hide under my sari, my burkha, my salwar.
You see, I am covered.
I am covered so that your eyes don’t ravage my skin, bury beneath my bones as they tear through my flesh.
I am covered, I am decent. I did not entice you to rape me. I am saved.
After all, you are the victim, I, your criminal.
And god forbid if I lusted!
If I craved sex, if I wanted to be touched.
Isssssh! Chee, chee! Are you a harlot? Some penny-greedy whore?
Oh no, my lord, I am no whore. I simply am lustful.
Don’t you know that is the devil speaking through you?
Oh, yes. Always the devil. The moment that cursed thing in between my legs gets moist, I am touched by the devil.
Oh, must I be cursed to such fate? That when I close my eyes, when my fingers seek pleasure, I find myself in the proximity to the devil, craving fantasies, craving something more.
I am just the devil’s whore.
I stand on court today, screaming at you.
Screaming until my throat is raw and my eyes bleed blood,
I stand across you, judge, jury and executioner, and I am two women at once.
The one with the lipstick who victimized you.
And the one without whom you thought the devil.
I am the precipice of two choices, dwelling between the edge of the worlds,
Asking you to see, that these desires are not more than me.
I, a woman. I, a mother. I, a sister. I, a lover. I, a wife. I, a whore.
You dress me up in so many roles!
I lose my sanity, and I yell! Who am I?
The minute you touch me without my consent, I am your criminal. I must be the whore who craved your touch, and you, kind sir, you acceded to my silent request.
You turned me into your bitch, because you see, I wore that lipstick! I must have wanted it.
And then, on the night before, when my chapped lips were no longer colored.
When I had whispered sweet nothings, closed my eyes and seen sinful images of another in my arms,
When I was a desert and a rainy afternoon in the same moment,
I must have been seduced by the devil.
I, a woman. I, a mother. I, a sister. I, a lover. I, a wife. I, whore.
I am lost in my roles!
And so I scream, I am more than my desires!
But then again, my words shall always fall upon the deafest ears.
So, take my hands. Hang me upside down and beat the devil out of me.
Leash me like the hounds, good sir! I am a danger even to myself. I have the devil in me.
Exorcise me, clean me, wash me, and if the stench still remained, then burn me.
For I have seen a thousand lives,
A whore with a red mouth, and the devil with her chapped lips, as a loveless wife and a coy mistress.
And I beg you, oh, I beg you,
Now let me be free.