Girl Blues

This poem is written by Tanisha Priya Ahmed, one of Spicy‘s Guest Contributors. Tanisha is an 18-year-old based in New Jersey and New York. Tanisha is a spoken word poet, writer, aspiring actress journalist and has performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY. Her dream is to travel the world and tell inspiring stories through her art and poetry.

To my beloved sisters
I am sorry dresses are not ‘safe’ to you anymore

A girl from Bangladesh
Says, “She doesn’t like to go outside nor wear dresses anymore,
Because she is not safe”

I cannot tell a woman what to wear
Nor how to dress
To feel safe
And respected
In her home
Of the very same men she bore in pain
And raised lovingly out of poverty
Who now tear her legs open once again
To step in


Sometimes when I am alone
I imagine we have traded lives
And I was the one
Who got forcibly married at 16
Taken out of school
And raised four children
Like my mother

And you were here
In America
Running in your floral dresses


And this is how I feel, my brown girl blues
These are the guilts that keep me awake at night
When my country sisters are there
And I am here
Living in the land of the free

While they must be treated like this

That my human existence
Is slowly cutting open their hearts

Because they are being married off into a home of abuse

Why the world does not value women
My heart may never know

We are every joyful moment you have experienced
Every pain you felt
And the last breath you take

What you did this time
Please do not do this again
Do not make a woman in my next life

For ten thousand years
My soul has lived in Bangladesh
And for 18
It has been in confessing its sins


Image courtesy of Nikki Freyermuth