Tangerine Sky

Aditi Shah

I sit by the tangerine sky,
violently blinking, tired eyes
just as the dying sun sinks to its demise
And have so unreasonable a dream
the heavens roar thunders, so as to scream.

A dream of a world where
“Beta, 18-year-old girls mustn’t date”
doesn’t remind me of my 650 million sisters’ fate
650 million sisters, married before age.

Where my hurtful
“I wish I lived far away from you, Ma”,
doesn’t elicit anguish
of frightened girls with flames extinguished
of mothers vanquished
of traffickers flourished.

Where metal railings don’t equate
to my 16-year-old classmate hurled,
tipped over, into another world.

Where I mustn’t fear being put to halt
by devouring lips and mouths that exult.
Where salacious eyes don’t crawl relentlessly,
ignoring, unfeeling, many a silent plea.

Where my piercing voice isn’t lost
in a bleak world of incessant frost.
Where a 1000 thoughts in my mind have crossed
and society need not hold my mouth exhaust.

My tired brown eyes flutter open
and meet across the room,
eyes just as brown, but effervescent and bloom.
A ghost of me, quixotic
three steps away.
Between us two
lies a world of disarray.

So I glue them shut, resume my dream
knowing someday, we will redeem.
The world, today, is a host of filth,
and we must live with this guilt.
Someday we will make it right
Until then, I will dream by the twilight.
Practice reckless optimism,
pen poems on feminism.
Dare to think, and dare to wait
for human apathy to abate.
And hope, the tangerine hue of an ordinary night,
will make a powerful fire ignite.

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