Refugee Woman
By Noushin Arefadib

She is a refugee.
She is a woman.
In her country if she speaks the truth of her government’s violations of her most basic human rights, she can be imprisoned, beaten, tortured and possibly murdered.
Every day she faces the reality of rape, assault, and other forms of abuse because of her gender.
Her body is treated as a battle field upon which man’s war is waged.
She is raped because men believe that honor and pride rests in a woman’s body, and if the enemy’s women are raped then the enemy himself will be decimated.
Her body, her spirit, her soul, her essence is the price paid for war waged; yet according to international law her gender holds no recognition in her refugee status.
She is a refugee woman.
The pain and suffering she has gone through is untold and unknown.
It is overlooked, neglected, refused, denied, and unrecognized.
She comes to your shores seeking asylum, yet you call her names and deny her a safe haven to rest her brittle body.
You tell her she is a queue jumper and an illegal immigrant.
You frown upon her and tell her to return to her country.
You tell her she is a criminal and treat her as such.
She is your mother; your sister; your daughter; your bride.
She is a refugee woman.

Disobedient Cunt
By Noushin Arefadib

She was intoxication and mouthfuls of sex.
Wild locks left you high for days.
She blinked not once, not twice, not at all as she looked you straight in the eye.
She told you how she liked it as she ripped flesh off your back.
She left the lights on and didn’t hesitate to pin you on your back.
Inhibition and shame came to greet her, but she stood undefeated.
She was not a whore.
Not a slut.
Not a skank.
She fucked, as some would say, like a man.
Take your sexuality and your right to pleasure somewhere else.
Here women hide their cunts in their husband’s treasure chests.
Demure. Soft. Gentle. Shy.
These are the qualities we want in our wives.
You wear your loud slutty orgasm on your sleeve, when the only sex
you should be having is to conceive.
How dare you try to assume a man’s role and take away his right to control.
Put your shameful passion away and give way to your instinct to obey.

By Noushin Arefadib

It’s a strange thing this being a woman, strangely beautiful.
I always looked forward to my mother’s touch that dried even my most stubborn of tears.
Mother said she farmed to feed the masses.
Mother makes love and gives love with her heart, her body, her voice, her inner most everything.
They say women hold up half the sky, but women in my life, you have held up each blue sky, all of my orange sunsets and every sun kissed smile.
It seemed a beautiful gift, this gift of being a woman.
But woman, why do you hold poverty’s hand?
Where is my mother with her healing gaze?
Why do I look away when your body that gave me life is left shades of blue and black?
They say women hold up half the sky, but it feels like you are being pushes deep underground.
My head bows in shame for betraying your loving hands.
They said your word is worth half that of a man’s, that your birth is a burden, and your spirit a commodity to be sold.
They say woman, give birth to my child, give me food, a place to call home and loving arms.
But don’t you dare stand against my militant stance.
Woman, it seems they have forgotten how you held up all their skies.

Noushin Arefadib is an Iranian-Australian poet and human rights activist currently living and working in New Delhi, India. She would like to dedicate these poems to her most beautiful friend, Farzad, who has recently passed away but will always remain in her heart.