Can you tell me

How I should feel?
You had laughed to hear me ask.
That first time you touched, that second time we kissed.
But I was unsmiling, questions in my eyes
And you unable to comprehend
Could only wonder at the demons in my past.

You were born in a different land, under the best of stars
I was born to joy suppressed, to questions, to unfulfilled hope.
You were given the best of things, the choicest piece, the fullest glass
I grew destined to share, to know I was weak, to need a man’s care,
Can you tell me why it was that I was second class?

I was still a girl, when the change began
They said it meant I was now a woman
I wondered why it needed proving with blood.
When I had grown to think of being woman as my fate
What did blood do to stop the prying eyes on the street?
Would my blood now stop the seeking eyes and hands of men I meet?

I still remember being up on the roof high above it all
A man in charge
Given the duty of watching us play
He singled me out for a special game.Because
You are so beautiful he would say.
I remember washing my face at the tap
To wash him off my skin
But other memories of the ugliness
Are seared into my mind. I dare not look too deep
Can you tell me how I should feel
Suddenly waking up from my sleep?

I still stand on that roof some days
My life far below me
Like some ant city at a standstill. Like an atlas
Of childhood lost.
Till you pull me back.

What should I say when you tease
Was this better than your first time?
You seek to know how to please
How do I say I have never been first,
I have only stood by while things took place.

3rd September, 2015

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