Ankita Rathour

Ritual

 

Sitting on the edge, my grip deepens.

They all look the same to us.

NOTHING.

Faces. White. Dead. All of them.

“You don’t know what you are talking about”, they yell. In unison.

“War is the road to peace”, they type. In unison.

We gasp.

Someone is typing a comment

We sit there. Staring.

Someone is typing a comment

We hear it all loud and clear, on my fourteen-inch Lenovo.

We can hear them all getting out and clawing us.

Face, arms, breasts, bellies, eyes.

Someone is typing a comment

Demanding the war-torn bodies to support more of it.

More blood. More bullets. More valor.

“We must fight terrorism.”

His name appears. Bold blue letters. A new flashing comment.

“But how do you fight terrorism with terrorism?”

I turn around and ask her.

I do not type. I must not.

A question of women, for women.

Murmured. Not spoken.

For women who are kicked out of these manly appetites.

For women, whose bodies were trampled upon by those in uniform.

She holds my hand and sighs—a deep, a long, a lonely one.

Empty as those underground tunnels where I hid when I was six.

Dark as our precious parts are.

Soundless as our cries are.

Angry as our bodies are.

No answer. There can be none.

***

Ankita Rathour is a Ph.D. student at Louisiana State University and has over a decade of teaching experience. From 2013-2014, she was a Fulbright teaching assistant at the University of Hawaii. Her poetry, articles, short stories, interviews have been published widely with Lost Tower Publications, Cyberwit Publications, Kalamos Literary Services, Central Dissent UCO, FeminisminIndia to name a few. Her research is in Bollywood, Crime film and Crime fiction, and Postcolonial Feminist theory. She is a stand-up comedian too. Her work is for women, and about women.

A Literary Magazine

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