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anatomical autonomy

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

By Pragya Dhiman

her body, the warzone

isn’t hers.

like a good democracy,

it is the people’s and they will decide

what to do with it.

barter, quarter, touch or see.

burn it. rape it. drown it in the sea. spoilt

rotting carcass, cured in salt. impure flesh,

kissing the sun it burns

fire hot, like a witch’s hide, she’s a hag with a womb

full of blood, a crime. a legacy must be left behind.

death loves her, hair knotted in a hoop,


the body is weak, but the mind isn’t

fear the ugly feminine

the cunning deceiver. the charming woman

who knows better

than to leave the eye of the hurricane

or live in the eye of the hungry falcon.

and tonight,

all she did was go to bed but now she is sentenced to death.

she was diseased, they declared, and the plague must be

put to an end. wildfires like these will burn man’s crops,

hell’s fury abound, with the unnatural around, god wills

you cannot cheat a family out of the duties he preached about.

but don’t worry if you disagree,

women will always have the luxury to sleep

six feet underground

somewhere they will never be found.


Pragya Dhiman is a twenty-year-old Indian student residing in Delhi, India, who has just graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from University of Delhi. Her research work in literature has been published in various literary journals including, American Research Journal of English and Literature, IJELS Research Journal, The Literary Herald and more. Her creative work has been published or is forthcoming in Literary magazines such as Muse India, Tint Journal, Teen Ink (digital and print), Muse-Pie Press's - Shot Glass Journal, Free library of the Internet Void, Genre: Urban Arts, Poet's Choice (print) and more. Her writing is a reflection of the inner workings of her mind, and she also takes inspiration from her dreams and night-terrors.

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