Smiling Sideways

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Let us be impolite, order those buffalo wings that wink at us
from across the table,
be more spice than lemon chiffon, than static;
plot twist, they accept you completely, flaws and all.
So closed off, these individuals that step around, avoiding toes;
it’s said that approaching a woman is like arriving in a new city,
greens and purples melting into grey
in the serenity of eventide—a billion cups filled then dropped,
how can there be lands drenched in ennui,
in winter’s shroud, in stoicism, in absence of dialogue, in stupor?
I am simply passing through;
flicker of a bulb lighting the rearview mirror,
the wind carrying with it audacity of cobblestones, merlot lips
anticipating arguments
that are as fickle and uncertain as most people.
Let us be spontaneous, slip our toes in the lake when everyone
is watching— a woman is a repository of possibilities,
view her with the eye of your heart,
her breath is cinnamon fragrance;
intellect, apricot flavored, strumming a guitar in the distance,
the world a whisper
reprimanding her choices upon every other significant moment.
Let us be bold, scoot over the long aisle accentuating backdrops
and steal a kiss,
I am not interested in living in a place where women are subjugated;
vanta black misbalance
that’s been continuing on for generations,
only you can break the stereotype, the stereotype, the stereotyped
it’s as though comprehending what it means
to be smiling sideways—
stereotyped, steadfast type, with sentimental stripe, come now
let us be impolite.

 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Miss Pink Coconut Digital Illustration, Pinterest

Posted for Open Link LIVE “August Edition,” @dVerse Poets Pub

 

Comments

  1. Romantic, of course, but tiny hands clenched in female fists, love edging out lust, trust as appetizer and main course, a heart with vision, truly a brain function, perceiving the world through tangerine lenses. I could go on.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Glenn 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

  2. Let’s do be so. I liked “wind carrying with it audacity of cobblestones, merlot lips
    anticipating arguments” in the flicker of a bulb.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Colleen 😀 so glad you liked it 💄❤️

  3. It was great to hear you read this–and thank you for bringing our attention to the incident that sparked this. It is outrageous, horrible, awful– but I think most women understand. There are men in the US, UK, and elsewhere who would keep women subjugated.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Merril 🙂 so glad the poem resonated with you 💄❤️

  4. Ken Gierke says:

    Brava!
    Especially this line:
    “how can there be lands drenched in ennui,
    in winter’s shroud, in stoicism, in absence of dialogue, in stupor?”
    This:
    “how can there be lands drenched in ennui,
    in winter’s shroud, in stoicism, in absence of dialogue, in stupor?”
    And this:
    “only you can break the stereotype, the stereotype, the stereotyped
    it’s as though comprehending what it means
    to be smiling sideways—
    stereotyped, steadfast type, with sentimental stripe, come now
    let us be impolite.”

    The incident in Lahore, of which you spoke in our Live session of OpenLinkNight, should be front page news.

    1. Sanaa says:

      It most certainly should be! Thank you so much, Ken 🙂 so glad you liked it 💄❤️

  5. Impolite…spontaneous…bold…oh, do be so, Sister.
    There are so many ways in which this terrible world must change. Your work pushes in the right direction. Push on!

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Ron 😀 so good to see you 💄❤️

  6. Sunra Rainz says:

    Let us be impolite indeed, Sanaa! Absolutely love this poem, a call to action! My favourite lines:
    “plot twist, they accept you completely, flaws and all.”
    “it’s said that approaching a woman is like arriving in a new city”
    “how can there be lands drenched in ennui,
    in winter’s shroud, in stoicism, in absence of dialogue, in stupor?”
    “merlot lips
    anticipating arguments”
    “manta black misbalance”
    and of course: “let us be impolite”!!

    I adore your poetry, Sanaa <3

    1. Sanaa says:

      Awwww gosh! Thank you so much, Sunra 😀 so glad you enjoyed it! 💄❤️

  7. I am not interested in living in a place
    where women are subjugated;
    vanta black misbalance
    that’s been continuing on for generations,

    Strangely enough, it is still sustained in many parts of the globe and not necessarily in backward countries. Good observation Sanaa!

    Hank

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Hank 🙂 so glad the poem resonated with you 💄❤️

  8. yes! i love this, it has big spirit, loved every line of it. you should record it, i want to out load (that’s where poetry belongs) and thanks again for your help with sound cloud, i got mine working, would love it if you stopped by and had a listen

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Philip 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

      (on my way)

  9. msjadeli says:

    Beautiful tribute to the feminine, Sanaa, and her equitable place in the world.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa 😀 so glad you liked it 💄❤️

  10. Ingrid says:

    I love how this builds Sanaa: there is an electrifying current throughout, but it really breaks through with your repetition of stereotype. How can one stereotype half of the human race? Thank you for raising your voice! ❤️

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Ingrid 😀 so glad the poem resonated with you 💄❤️

  11. Brendan says:

    As a poet, surfaces will ever enchant but depths cannot be denied. All we write is love poetry, no matter how we rage. But the Beloved is in an invisible shell on an impossibly far beach. Gorgeous poems like these come from rowing, rowing through all the surface illusions. Good work and rotsa ruck.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Brendan 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

  12. rog leach says:

    it was an honour to hear you read this.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so so much, Rog 😀 I enjoyed writing this one 💄❤️

  13. James Feeney says:

    “come now….let us be impolite”….perfect ending and yes, stereotypes need to be broken! JIM

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Jim 😀 so glad you liked it 💄❤️

  14. This piece is so beautiful and necessary, I loved these lines: “Let us be spontaneous, slip our toes in the lake when everyone is watching— a woman is a repository of possibilities, view her with the eye of your heart” 💗

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Tricia 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

  15. hedgewitch says:

    Strong and with feeling! It takes a constant state of vigilance, to avoid that stereotyping.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Hedgewitch 😀 so glad the poem resonated with you 💄❤️

  16. Toes and lakes seem to be in the air! (Also a theme of my offering, but written before I saw this!)

    So many things here to love, I especially stopped at ” plot twist, they accept you completely, flaws and all” a true plot twist if it ever actually happened, and the “audacity of cobblestones”

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Alexandra 😀 so glad you enjoyed it 💄❤️

  17. Punam says:

    Oof! So many absolutely gorgeous lines, Sanaa! So love this one. ❤️

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Punam 😀 so good to see you 💄❤️

  18. Bjorn Rudberg says:

    Oh, I loved to hear you read it live… and the point of addressing the stereotyping of women with the line “let us be impolite” is great.

    Sorry for being so late commenting, but Sunday works better for me to read.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Bjorn 😀 so glad you liked it 💄❤️

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