Niharika Manda

i painfully cross my legs on the bus today
because well behaved women
don’t spread their legs
not on the bus, not ever

i tug at the ends of my skirt to hide my skin
because boys will be boys
and it’s in my best interest
for me to be coy & make no noise

i wonder why my modesty is attractive
and my tenacity a threat
why my wardrobe is up for debate
why i’m characterless if i hold a cigarette

but then i realize we live in a world
where women who have sex
are drowned in humiliation
and men who have sex
are given a standing ovation

--

--

“I’m fine”, the worlds biggest lie,
you guard behind your metallic armor
“it’ll all be okay”, a reassurance of no meaning,
a tinge of bronze on your medal of golden valor

dare you not doubt your crimson for grey,
or your silhouette for the flesh of the skeptic,
in a world where truth, an artifact, and love, a fossil
your heart stays unapologetic, your zeal, electric

i feel your fire slowly dying,
your speech turn to stammer
gone are the days you’d laugh at the storm
chest thumping, reeking with glamour

strip your soul naked like you did for me,
make them hypnotic, fill their stomachs with butterflies
and they’ll learn to devour you the way i do
uninhibited, relentless, kingsize

--

--

Niharika Manda

Niharika Manda

Just your average college student chasing sunsets, words, and meaningful conversations | university of illinois | SDE @Amazon