• Under the Raintree Festival

'Rusted Shackles' by Samantha Christopher

The conundrum is this, What defines a woman?

Her body or her mind? Or both?

If the oversimplified shoe fits, can she not just be?

Without being put into a casket so stifling.

She paints her face with rouge on her cheeks.

Her eyes blink with kohl on her lashes and across her shoulders a flowing sari draped.

A quaint picture do you see? One fed by years of misogyny.

But out her throat comes the voice of a man.

There is a soul that transcends all,

A place to which we will return, ultimately.

To that structure which holds true reality.

There is no corporeal ruse there.

Just an awakened self, beyond construct,

And beyond suppression.