The Serpent Coiling Woman Body by Rati Saxena SignUp
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The Serpent Coiling Woman Body
by Rati Saxena
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  Spinning and whirling like a top,
bouncing up and down like a ball,
she didn’t know
a woman body lay coiled on her
hissing taboos:
she must not roam in her undergarments,.
she must not bathe in the open,
she must not have fun with friends.
The raindrops invite her:
come, come, don’t stop, do come!
The breeze whispers: come, Oh come,
but the woman body shakes a forefinger every time,
and she goes a step behind her friends.
Until the grip in her chest tightens,
until the whirlpool in her stomach rages,
she keeps struggling.
With her coiled woman body
rises every month a storm of pain,
the squeezing coils,
the spearheads of taboos,
the flood of blood.
Then a miracle happens,
she suddenly finds her body
a fabulous pearl
She enters the woman body through the mouth
and reaches the belly.
As if in a trance, the body begins to dance
to rhythms unknown,
but trapped within the maze of the bowels,
she slowly digests
the whispered rules:
the body is yours—decorate it for our pleasure!
the body is yours—we’ll use it for our pleasure!
the body is yours—turn it or twist it for our pleasure!
Oh, where is she? And where is her enemy, the woman body?
It is found only when her skin
has been turned into footwear,
her fangs begin to spurt venom,
the tightening coils grip her throat . . .

Dreams, clouds, birds, sky
are but the swing of the imagination;
friends, lovers, and confidants, . . .
mere mirages!
The sole truth is the woman body,
those bowels have digested her up:
to realize this truth doesn’t take much time,
but does she get the time to realize it?
Eve, Shraddha, Draupadi, Sita:
their knowledge still wanders
seeking it.
Over their own bodies nobody has any right:
After all, their effort is not self-realization
nor God-realization.
Here there is no happiness, no divine bliss;
the sacrifice of the body and the salvation are only for those
who have used the body as a tool.
the helplessness of the woman body is different:
she has to decorate herself—for someone else;
she has to toil hard—for someone else;
she has to wake up or sleep—for someone else.
Bearing tensions
and breeding weeds out of her body,
decorated on the outside, but drying up within,
that woman body has become a mere body.
And she?
She has lost herself
within that self-same enemy, the woman body.
 
Today when the venom from her tooth
has become an antidote,
today when her skin
has become footwear,
today when her flesh
has been roasted—
what is left of her?
Has she vanished into nothingness?
Has she attained self-realization?
No—she continues to cry,
she groans with pain.

“Take not my self away from me.
Give me only one life, just for me.
My body and I are one principle:
my body is my identity.
The storms that swell in it,
the pains that swim in it,
all are mine!. . .”

The sky is mute, so is the earth.
even emptiness is empty:,
unechoed lamentations may be taking birth elsewhere.
She searches for herself within herself,
within her body

within the woman body.

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May 04, 2002
More By: Rati Saxena
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