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Jayaprabha


Looks

Looks
From two eyes
Dart like needles
Roam freely on flesh.

The looks never
Look into the face
The words never come from the heart
They crawl on the body like white ants
Disgust every time I see them.

Those eyes
Belong to a million classes
But their looks are all the same.

Only one signal
In those looks
Hunger like a salivating dog's
An ugly bear-fist
Chases you even in dreams
No difference between day and night
In this thick forest
No place at all
To escape these looks

On the road
In buses, classrooms
Behind your every step
Wounding
Some part of the body
Looks tipped with poison
Keep pricking you

Frightened
I want to disappear
Into the distant sky, into emptiness
But
Escape is no solution
So I began to teach my eyes
The sharpness of thorns
To fight those poison looks

Now to chase away those eyes
I fight with my eyes
Timid eyes which
Cannot look straight
For two seconds
Run to the underworld

A day will come
When women in this country have
Thorns
Not only in their eyes
But all over their bodies.


Translated by Velcheru Narayana Rao and A. K. Ramanujan




 








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