Unapologetically radical, political poetry dealing with the process of neocolonialism, neoliberalisation and transness from a violently ethnic perspective.
"This is a poem about reconciling my trans identity with my ethnic identity. For me, my beard, my clothes, and the way I carried myself was largely in response to the expectations of how a brown man should behave, and in coming out as a transfemme, I felt fearful that I would lose my ethnic identity."
Sunburns from the Motherland
A slice of hair could never cut
the rope around our necks.
I’ve fashioned it in styles and brushed
the hands that held the ends.
I flirted with their finger tips.
I fed my youth from their thin lips.
Each strand of hair around my body
Has grown from every lash put on me.
It's a beautiful thing, really.
I don't see pain in the scars no more;
I see new life -
The darkest strands
They glisten on my golden hands,
I recall days on yellow sands,
My family in the motherland.
The fragrant tea they left to brew,
Yes, they all wore the dark strands too,
Beneath unruly, Kashmir threads,
Our skin remains a blistered red,
The sugared tar grips us,
and marks us, and
I don't mind it anymore.
It no longer breaks my spirit.
I used to wear my hair to show a man with ties to heritage,
But cover it in threads and garms designed to Europeanness.
My silent voice still echoes what the label might suggest.
No, I can shave my hair,
I can rip my clothes,
I could skin myself and even so,
Today I'm still a desi girl