The Rapist Justifies

by Vidya S. Panicker


There are nail marks
from more than ten fingers
on her stomach, exposed
through the folds 
of a semi-transparent saree.

Her breath stinks
of cheap liquor.
The lipstick is a sluttish red,
the kohl drips
from the corners of her eyes.

The hand that encircles her waist 
is neither a husband’s
nor a brother’s—
inviting us
to grab fleshier parts of her.

The clock strikes eleven.
The music plays loud.
She dances
and sweats
and ignores 
                 our stern eyes
                 and arms that accidentally graze her butts.

Her body speaks a single word—
C o n s e n t.

Copyright 2015, Vidya S. Panicker

Vidya Panicker, an Indian writer, has her poems published or upcoming in The Feminist Review, Aberration Labyrinth, Bangalore Review, Kindle Magazine and Brown Girl Magazine. Her work has been translated and published in other Indian languages as well. She won second prize in the All India Poetry Contest 2014 held by the Poetry Society of India and is an editor on the website.

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