Poem: Don’t Look at Me

If I were a painting, I could maybe understand

Your desire to stand before me and strip

Me down until you are satisfied with the

Judgments you have made about me, as though

You are an expert on what it means to be

A woman.

But I am not a painting, and I am not here

For your viewing pleasure, so kindly

Hold your tongue and refrain from telling

Me what I should wear and how I should look

Because hijab was a command brought

Down for you first. God said lower your gaze

And yet here you are, not only staring but

Passing along your pearls of wisdom that no one asked for.

What will it take for you to understand that my hijab

Is mine and mine alone, and that your hypocrisy

Isn’t welcome here?

I am not a painting, placed meticulously in an exhibit

For you to walk past and look at all you want

I am not interested in your criticism nor do I want

Your advice

Next time you see me in my hijab and want to verbalize

Your concern, maybe practice in front of a mirror first.