Mohja Kahf my body is not your battleground

my body is not your battleground

by mohja kahf, 1998

My body is not your battleground
My breasts are neither wells nor mountians,
neither Badr nor Uhud

My breasts do not want to lead revolutions
nor to become prisoners of war
My breasts seek amnesty: release them
so I can glory in their milktipped fullness,
so I can offer them to my sweet love
without your flags and banners on them

My body is not your battleground
My hair is neither sacred nor cheap,
neither the cause of your disarray
nor the path to your liberation
My hair will not bring progress and clean water
if it flies unbraided in the breeze
It will not save us from our attackers
if it is wrapped and shielded from the sun
Untangle your hands from my hair
so I can comb and delight in it,
so I can honor and annoint it,
so I can spill it over the chest of my sweet love

My body is not your battleground
My private garden is not your tillage
My thighs are not highway lanes to your Golden City
My belly is not the store of your bushels of wheat
My womb is not the cradle of your soldiers,
not the ship of your journey to the homeland
Leave me to discover the lakes
that glisten in my green forests
and to understand the power of their waters
Leave me to fill or not fill my chalice
with the wine or honey of my sweet love

Is it your skin that will tear when the head of the new world emerges?

My body is not your battleground
How dare you put your hand
where I have not given permission
Has God, then, given you permission
to put your hand there?

My body is not your battle ground
Withdraw from the eastern fronts and the western
Withdraw these armaments and this siege
so that I may prepare the earth
for the new age of lilac and clover,
so that I may celebrate this spring
the pageant of beauty with my sweet love.