lessons of love

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the women in my family taught me how to love women by not loving men          no, they are not lesbians or queer or whatever labels you stick onto me, but they refused so wholly           to succumb emotionally to men

the women in my family are embodiments of light because they could not get tied to false ideas of hetero romance           yes, they spat out the lies fed to them by the afsanay they read the films they watched

the women in my family married men for circumstance, not love

and this is not their tragedy but their ferocity

[yes, this is not some sad poem about their oppression but a testament to their battle, to their unwavering courage]

the women in my family have been fighting since they hit puberty, and some even before then, and they do not tire           they labor on and on in the kitchens and bazaars and gardens by closing their hearts to men even when they can’t close their legs, by rising through hardened mud to build suns for their daughters

my mother has held the entire fucking world on her breasts and she still stands straight always             my phuppo learned to make love to god after learning that the man she called husband could only make rape, not love, to her           and my nani has had her head filled with clouds since she got married, and yet she never let it rain            because the women in my family are goddesses whose kisses planted wings on my back, who filled their own voids by loving each other, who taught me to look beyond the hetero romance ideas being drilled into me from all the arenas that were controlled by men

the women in my family taught me the different colors of love, the multiple directions that I can get and give love, the million ways of drinking and savoring and holding love so deep inside me, and none of these teachings           ever involved men

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One thought on “lessons of love

    […] A version of this poem was originally published on Queer Zenana. […]

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