Renas Babakir


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A poem by Renas Babakir


Grandma’s voice taints the air, “a filthy whore

who is not cut
allures men

dishonours the family.”

It is a dream. It is real,

a hand of a giant
grabbed my sticky thighs
pulled me out of my dreamy bed.

The giant is dark.
Her knife, my body
Not my throat, my clitoris.

The giant is red.

A pond of blood

is now my lust.



This poem is a part of my first anthology; the inspiration for this poem came from Nawal El- Saadawi’s accounts on her experiences of Female Genital Mutilation. Reading her experiences reminded of the untold stories of my childhood neighbourhood in a small town; the whispering of little girls, telling the horrifying stories of an old woman with her knife. Saadawi’s unbearable experience and my memory of the little girls’ whispering brought me to a fragmented piece to tell the stories of hundreds.

1 Khitan is the Arabic word for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) usually performed on young girls to reduce or eliminate their sexual desire. It is practiced across the Middle East and Africa. It is highly debated whether it is a religious or traditional practice.