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No One Likes You

Updated: Feb 1

Sidra F. Sheikh


The following poem was first published The Aleph Review, Vol. 5 (2021).


No one likes women who think too much

He said

So, I gave him a piece of my mind

The Beast took it, saying you are too kind


But as evening fell

He was back again


No one likes women who talk too much

He said

So, I gave him a piece of my tongue

The Beast ate it and asked for the rest


Come back another day

I said

Apparently, tongues are hard to digest


It didn’t take him long

No one likes women who are too strong

He said

So, I gave him my right arm

The Beast broke it and smiled


Charmed, there is one on the left as well

Could you be a dear and save me a trip?

So, I obliged

And while you’re at it, I’ll have the rest of that tongue, shall I?

It was the least I could do, such pretty manners and a bearing so wise

I gave him what was left, and he said goodbye


Soon he returned

No one likes women who stand up for themselves

He said

So, I gave him a leg but he sat back down, waiting for more

Take what you will, I told him at last

The Beast took the other and headed for the door


One last time I have come, do not deny me

No one likes women who feel too much

He said

So, I ripped out my heart

And handed it right over

The Beast devoured it, purring and prancing with delight


No one likes you

You have arrived

The ideal woman

Except for your eyes


If I could just take away this burden of sight

You would be born again

A woman done right

You could hold your head high

Be proud of who you are

And tell Everyone

No one approves


No one was an ally I wanted on my side

Everyone had let me down enough

Everyone was false, but No one I could trust


I gave him my sight and feeling generous, offered up my hearing as well

But he didn’t have any use for my ears

I should keep them

He said


I rejoiced in my good fortune a while

I couldn’t walk or speak or smile

But I was happy, I was liked

The Beast told me I was

I couldn’t think either you see


But he wasn’t entirely unfeeling or cold

He left me my ears

So I could listen and do as I was told.


Poshida Aadmi by Zainab Zulfiqar (2020

 


Sidra F. Sheikh is the author of The Light Blue Jumper, published in 2017 by Mongrel Books, Karachi. It continues to be on the bestseller list at Liberty Books and is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US as a Kindle version. She has recently completed a sequel to the Jumper and a new YA fantasy novel. Sidra has a BSc in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a partner at The Sheikh Partnership law firm, a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.*


*Author bios of archival pieces are reprinted as they first appeared.


Zainab Zulfiqar received their BFA (2021) from the National College of Arts in traditional South Asian miniature painting with a distinction, as well as a merit scholarship in 2017-2018; they were also part of the VASL Residency in Karachi in 2022. They are a recipient of the Roger and Gayle Mandle Presidential Fellowship at RISD and have exhibited in several group shows, such as Liminal Spaces in Dastaangoi, Liberating Arts in Guantanamo Bay at IVS Gallery, And So It Happened at T2F Gallery. They have been a part of three collaborative films with Abdullah Qureshi, in which they acted in, produced, and designed sets and costume. These films have been exhibited locally as well as internationally at Sagar Theater on Queen’s Road (collateral event of the second Lahore Biennale), QueerAsias: Virtualizing Cartographies, and the Diasporic Rhizome, a virtual exhibition at South Asia Institute, Chicago.



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