ON WALKING DOWN THE STREET AS A HUMAN BEING
It almost felt alien to me,
not hearing a whistle as I walked
past a group of boys, not feeling
the heat of a stranger’s glare on
my back, or more accurately,
my ass, not feeling exposed with
every step I take, not feeling
like meat waiting to be turned
into a meal, not feeling like
a target, waiting to be shot at.
I had forgotten what this
warm breeze of freedom felt
like, forgotten that I too had
a claim to public spaces,
forgotten that my identity
counted as much as theirs did,
but can you blame me?
Who can remember who they are when
in the eyes of the world, they
shapeshifted into a beast to
control centuries ago? Who can
reclaim a freedom they’ve never
gotten? Who can hear the
sound of harassment over and
over and over again, and not
respond to abuse as a mating call?
Who can blame me, when
something as simple as walking
down the street as a human being
is a luxury that I’ve never been given?
Instead, all I’ve ever
been in this place, is afraid.
By Anisha Drall
Anisha Drall is a high school student living in Gurgaon, India. She likes to read novels, poetry and Tumblr text posts and has been previously published in Germ Magazine and Vagabond City Lit. Find her on Instagram – @anishadrall / @inchoatee .