(Artwork by Anya Thakur)
Liberty High School

Poem: Big Conversations

“Big Conversations” is a poem written by 14-year-old poet and women’s advocate Anya Thakur. She works to empower and uplift communities as founder of GirlUp Dallas, a UN Women organization, and a MetoWe partner with ArtRising, which provides arts enrichment to underprivileged communities and creates diverse programming for South and East Asian women. Hosting education, self-defense, and language and literature classes to empower rural women in Delhi, Mumbai, and Munipur, and humanitarian efforts with Myna Mahila, which empowers women in rural India through health education, her women’s advocacy promotes UN Women’s mission to ensure a fair and equitable future, and she has traveled throughout the United States and India to speak for girl’s education and empowerment.

Big Conversations

are had when you look into the mildew coated and grime glazed mirror and spray lemony glass cleaner over your reflection, the petal curves of your mouth and the viridescent fertile crescents of your eyes dancing with mischief

thrust your face into the sunlight and inhale the seabreeze and sky, straps slipping down your shoulders and blotted stripes of chalky white sunblock on your cheeks and the tip of your nose

balance a wide glass of white wine and then a jar of marinara sauce on your head over dinner

teasingly hold the rose stem in your mouth, because you’re the type that must have gotten flowers before, but this one means something

and laugh at how utterly bizarre you are, uninhibited and finding home in yourself

there aren’t enough superlatives to describe it sometimes

it’s the moments you

lean over the marble countertop, speckled like a salt rose, elbows kissed by cold quartz, towards an old friend

call your grandmother after it’s been too long and share secret smiles and see time melt away from her face for the moment,

and it’s past midnight where you are so afterwards you slip peacefully into the night and forget the lie you’ve taught yourself that sinners never sleep

add a shower of copper coins to the water because you remember lost love and lakeside memories at the sight of the iron pigeons nestled together at the base of the fountain

and a stranger looks at your lovelorn features and you tell them everything and they’re no longer a stranger

sometimes it’s how, not when

how you call yourself a butterfly whisperer because you can’t speak to something that flies away so quickly but know how to rescue caterpillars

keep a chunk of amethyst in your clutch because you’re not superstitious, but the woman who sold it to you had more surety in her voice than all the conviction you could muster in saying you’re alive,

and reminded you of how your mother called you beautiful like it was undeniable

believe love is as ubiquitous as oxygen, just sadly not considered as essential

and clash like fire with everyone you’ve enthralled

big conversations are with the unclean mirror and time to absorb and memorize all that you are