well, we are all caged inside aged standards: a string of landays*

‘Tween legs without hanging, cloning tube,
hands tied inside kingdom of plates, forks, knives, fittingly.

Rugged palms even at birth, first cry
should be the last, plow land, tear not. Masculinity.

Fingernails painted in red welcomes
thin sheets of cloth be stripped, cream breasts bared, unwillingly.

Broad chest cracks in silence, no one wants,
your own side of the story, just pay alimony.

Are we shouting, equality, freedom
deaf, blind of all genders’ clipped wings aching to be free?

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For dVerse Poetics: “Bartender, I’d like to close out my tab-oo”
In Pashto, *”landay (LAND-ee)” means “short, poisonous snake,” likely an allusion to its minimal length and use of sarcasm. Landays (or landai) often criticize traditions and gender roles.
There are few formal properties. Each landay consists of a single, twenty-two syllable couplet. There are nine syllables in the first lines, and thirteen syllables in the second. In Pashto, the poem ends on a “ma” or “na” sound. The lines do not generally rhyme.