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This poem was first published on 22 September 2014. We are re-presenting it this week as part of our resistance special.


You will not find us on the six o'clock news,
two kohl-stained lines artfully staining our cheeks.
We do not stare doe-eyed from behind curtains
of silken maize hair. No one makes movies of us.
They call us Medusa's daughters but she
is merely the first and oldest of our hideous sorority,
bastard children of our virgin mother. We who dared to say
"My life is my own."

There is nothing more monstrous in our gaze than
a mirror. Look into these eyes and be paralyzed
not by our curse but your selfsame necrotizing corruption,
knowledge of your complicity feeding us to
the monsters at the gate, throwing us under the bus,
then nailing our scarred visages to the lintel,
a cautionary tale for the girls who got to be good.



Saira Ali grew up in the deep south of the US and has still not acclimated to New England winters. She is both an engineer and a poet, and rejects false dichotomies in all forms. She has published poetry in Mythic Delirium and Stone Telling.
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