“The Universe, a Woman” by Uma Menon

Issue 18 / Summer 2019 / Abortion Ban Protest Special Issue


(i) Prologue

They say the universe formed with one big bang but
we all know it must have a mother.
Listen to the theory of maternal relativity,
find power to expand. The blood
of the universe has turned cold in search
of its mother.

(ii) Galaxies

There was a time when my path was enshrined,
when you worshipped my footsteps, gravitating
towards each of my movements. Call it a galaxy.
There was a time when you savored the milk I spilled
and bottled it up like a genie for posterity to stare
and wonder at.
There was a time when you looked up at the sky
& saw only my light. You prayed to me
& divinity.

(iii) Nebula

They say that when woman is angry
she devours the whole world.
They are wrong, of course –
she devours the entire universe.
All that is left is dust,
dust in more colors than emotions felt
when I swallow you whole.
My fingers are the pillars of creation
that give you this life. I birth the stars you sing of.
Orbit me. Feel ego dissipate into dust,


Uma Menon is a fifteen-year-old writer and political activist from Winter Park, Florida. Her writing has appeared in the Huffington Post, Cincinnati Review, and Ruminate Magazine, among others. Her first full-length poetry collection, a commentary on race, gender, and identity, was shortlisted by the 2019 erbacce prize. “The Universe, a Woman” was originally published by both IRIS Magazine and Ms. Magazine. Uma hopes to see her generation become the first to recognize womxn and gender minorities with equal status.

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