Things Cheaply Had - Poem by Taslima Nasrin
In the market nothing can be had as cheaply as women.
If they get a small bottle of colour for their feet,
they spend their nights sleepless for sheer joy;
If they get a few bars of soap to scrub their skin
and some scented oil for their hair,
they become so submissive
that they scoop out chunks of their flesh
to be sold in the flea market twice a week.
If they get a jewel for their nose,
they lick feet for seventy days or so,
a full three and a half months
if it's a single striped sari.
Even a mangy cur of the house barks now and then,
but over the mouths of women cheaply had
there's a lock,
a golden lock.
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