Loose – a poem about a woman’s expression and desires

Illustration by Diana Bwengye for the poem "Loose" by Daphine Arinda

…In the poem “Loose”, Daphine Arinda satirises the term used to describe women who are comfortable expressing their sexual desires. A woman who dresses sexy, dances wildly, enjoys sexual encounters is labelled “loose”. She is more of a threat because she does this for herself. Arinda claims this word for a positive use, aligning it to its other meaning, one akin to freedom. The woman in this poem becomes one who is free to enjoy her sexuality, saying, “But dignity and self-respect are MINE/ mine to lose.”… Read the full intro here.


I live loosely
Mind open
Heart open
I have no rules
On how to love
Who to love
What to write
What to hide
How to dance
With whom to dance.

At the bar I choose men loosely
Men whose faces I forget
Men whose numbers I erase
Men whose rhythm I’ll recall

Can his feet follow the beat?
Can his ribs break off his back?

I’ll rub up his crotch
Touch his chest
We’ll loosely share our bodies in dance.

I am loose.

I am not a box of stone

I am loose

I write loosely
I dance loosely
I love loosely

I’m smoke, smoldering at the stick’s end in the dark night.
I’m wings, reaching for the sky with each puff I am free.

“She’s loose
She’s loose
She’s loose….”  

Whispers like the wind will pass
But dignity and self-respect are MINE,
Mine to lose not a man’s to take.  

Daphine Arinda
Performing poet, writer and lawyer

Daphine Arinda is a Uganda performing poet, writer and lawyer, specialized in Research and Public Interest Litigation. As a lawyer, Daphine seeks to contribute to social justice in her country. As a performance poet, she aims at participating to authentic Uganda literature. She also worked for the East African Community Youth Ambassadors Platform.