Meena Kandasamy

1984 - / Chennai / India

Jouissance

An angry philosopher froze
His philandering wife—Passivity
As punishment for promiscuity.
Rendered senseless, set in stone,
She stared in unceasing surprise
As her sagely husband toured
The world with his treatises on
What pleasure meant to women
And a powerpoint presentation
That showed close-up photos
Of her fixed phantom face.

He painstakingly pointed out
The moment of arrival of ecstasy
In the stone-dead statue—
A coming that was a curse.
A coming, he claimed, like that
Of mortified mystics, which
She would never know.

Other women grasped the game.
They knew no man would ever
Let them be, ever set them free.
So, when asked, they answered
With wide-eyed wonder
Yes yes yes o yes yes yes
O yes yes yes yes yes yes
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