One Future Collective is an organization that works towards building compassionate youth social leadership through the use of art, education, community intervention and policy advocacy – across verticals of gender justice, mental health, legal reform and development policy.

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Poetry by Sara | Beauty

In which Sara uses poetry to undo stereotypes that run through our society — raw, naked and unabashedly so.

For what is beauty, darling?

The burnt edge of a letter

The blood between

Those eyes, all black kohl

And hair, all tangled and knotty



Callous ridden hands, weaving passion incessantly

Dark moons under those beautiful eyes, your ornament

Scathed knees tracing stories words don’t suffice

Lose arms hanging like star-beds circumambulating the moons


Don’t let them make you believe

That pretty is white

And black a crime

Honey, after all love is made

Under the black skies


Patches and scars

Stretch marks

All cellulite, with an inch of tanned skin


Like the flowers

The jagged barks of fat trunks

The shabby twigs of a nest

The ruffled bulge of the birds


You belong.

Flaunt your branches and leaves

Pamper your flowers

For the universe wouldn’t awe you

If it wasn’t black

And the flowers wouldn’t woo you

If they were lean

And the nests wouldn’t procreate, love

If they were rigid.


Beauty, honey

Is boundless!

A wrinkled old smile

As majestic

As the young maiden’s gleam

For if words restricted beauty,

What would poets write about?

Sara Sethia is a Research Associate (Gender Justice) at One Future Collective.

Illustration by Priyanshi Vakharia

Comments: 2

  • Jessica Xalxo March 20, 2019 11:45 PM

    This is beautiful, Sara! Thank you for helping me see otherwise when popular culture fails me. Our bodies fit in. They belong. They always have. And they are here to thrive.

    • Sara Sethia March 26, 2019 7:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Jess!

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