Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Burkini
“I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away” – Aheda Zanetti
Burkini is a language
Terrifying those ignorant of its text.
Cops patrol her tan lines
Like dams patrol
Rivers flowing above danger marks.
All you need is in that bag:
Change into a garment
More palatable for the cops in uniform.
Some garments cling too close to your surname
Like a metaphor
Too loud for good poetry.
Sea surfing can be tiring
Like an infinite ebb and flow of a questionnaire.
Batting an eye lid can be a tad too immodest.
Tether yourself close to the beach.
Do not surf too deep into the ocean.
Never self-intersect in circles of knots and tangles.
Bruises sustained from frisking
Metamorphose into festering wounds.
Gangrene could gnaw at your surname.
Erase your footprints from the sands.
Waves of time rarely wash the footprints of a scuffle.
Prolonged scuffle can bury us all in a deep hole.
Do you remember the first corpse
The sea sucked off a turbulent beach?
The sea spat it out after three days of frisking.
The footprints of scuffle
Implicates you from shore to shore,
Blowing up all bridges between you and anyone.
During this conversation
Some territory has been ceded across
The tan lines of your body.
Your body stripped off the garment
Remains an evacuated language.
Can a language be a scarecrow?
History will catch up with you
In your rear-view mirror
Even if you are full throttle in your
Pursuit of happiness.
Chandramohan S (b. 1986 in India) is an Indian English Dalit poet based in Trivandrum, Kerala,India. His first collection of poems titled Warscape Verses (Authorspress, May 2014) was published in India and his second collection is forthcoming.