If I see the world through your eyes,
Will the words be mine when I tell the stories
To describe what I see?
If everything you feel is through my hands,
Can you really still say that you have felt
The world, rough and smooth edges and all?
If the lyrics are mine when you sing,
Would it be your voice or my words that make the song?
If the lips are mine and the tongue is yours,
Who has eaten when we gorge?
If the lips are yours and the tongue is mine,
Who will stagger when we drink the wine?
If I’m the heart and you’re the lungs,
Who can take the praise for sustaining life?
If my compass points to you and yours to me,
Who is the true north, who is home?
If there’s unity between us, what does it matter?
I will be whatever part you need,
Whatever you need to function.
And I will rely on you to be my whatever too,
Eyes, tongue, blood, bone.
Like a tune in the wind, my heart searches.
Finding yours, in a melody it merges.
It knows you, it finds you with ease no matter the crevice.
Love and loyalty it pledges.
Like a bee to nectar, I am drawn to you.
Over thousands of miles and the obstacle of time, I run to you.
I will defy nature,
I will come to you.
Like a silent prayer, my heart hears your call.
In the barest whispers, my soul catches the tenderness of your voice.
I am lost, in the heady labyrinth of your sweet tender call.
I am yours.
It’s a very somber day today. They’ve called a family meeting, to judge a matter that should never have occurred in the first place. His parents are seating and shooting darts my way. His sisters are looking at me scornfully, well with the exception of the youngest one who looks at me pityingly. It seems that she’s the only one who understands, who empathizes. His aunties say I’m a witch.
My family is also seated, but they seem to blame me too. My uncles are guzzling all the drinks and beginning to speak too loudly. My mother’s head is bowed in shame. She has been told over and over that she did not raise me well. My father is angry at my husband and at me too it seems. He can’t seem to decide who has wronged his sensitivities more. My aunties are gossiping loud enough for me to hear, mocking me with every other sentence. ‘This is what you get for sending a girl to America to school, they come back feeling like goddesses’ I hear one say.
I’m exhausted and humiliated, this was not the way I had imagined marriage would be. I had expected that there would be fights, but never about this! His uncles are speaking to my dad and uncles now, and not too politely too. I drag my mind back to the present to listen to what is being said, and I’m outraged but as I am a woman I cannot speak. I cannot defend myself until they give me leave to.
His uncles say that it is within his right as my husband to correct me, even if it required that he hit me. They say that the black eye and broken lips I’m sporting are well deserved, that I brought it upon myself. My uncles murmur a bit but say nothing to refute this, so they go on with the accusations. They say it his conjugal right to have me whenever he pleases and that I had no right to say no, to wield sex as a weapon, to deprive him.
I’m exhausted and humiliated, but still I cannot find the logic in their argument. I never tried to wield anything! My husband and I had been in an argument that had not been resolved when he chose to exercise his ‘conjugal rights’ and I said no. of course I said no, and he flew into a rage. How do you give yourself passionately to someone who you desperately want to throttle at that moment? Why was he not interested in making peace first? Why was it okay for him to wield sex as a weapon and a taboo for me to do same? Why is his hitting me acceptable? Why are all the women seated here accepting this as normal, as law?
I’m exhausted and humiliated, and wondering why we’re all here giving credence to all of this nonsense. I’m exhausted and humiliated but more than that, I’m disappointed.