City of Women

(for all the women I met in the city)

Dear woman,
we met in the city of flocking birds
our migrant hearts slung on slender shoulders
looking for a ground to stand and perhaps, speak.

We walked past each other
noses turned up
over your ghee and my fermented fish.
but glancing slyly
licking our lips,
before we remembered what they taught us;
they said you are different
they said I am different.

But sister,
their eyes murder us the same
veiled or not
for we dare dream
with our hair and nails,
for we ooze our history
from tongue and hips.

They say they will bind these hands
cut it someday
that dare write
that dare desire illicit faces
that dare open the stars.

We stood in front of each other,
a mirror of our mothers
and held our skies and earths.
Our skins of yellow, reddish and brown
became one with the autumn leaves
and we decided to walk the long winter ahead of us.

After all, my love,
our towns have never understood us
the city will never love us.
Tonight, let us be wantons together
let us reclaim our caged tongue.