under this black-lit sky and the
mehendi lit on fire,
you watch as the flames lick up my achal
following the trail of the
digital print as it kisses up my bare back,
scorching the snaking mantra into my skin.
that burn and the glow of orange,
how do i turn it all away? you,
toss the image away of me, but,
you can’t look away. i dance in
circles. i dance in sadness. i dance
in my ruin. the nights of tears
couldn’t wash away this heat. nights of
tossing in my sheets. nights of wrapping
my legs around your absence. nothing could
make this desire fall to ashes.
if i were to yell. if i were to call out. if
i were to reach out for you. weep. sob.
tremble. and fall. lie still on the ground. you
wouldn’t move a ligament. you wouldn’t flinch.
you wouldn’t dare. i know you, in
all my harried words, my curried parties of
bachelor doctors and pharmacists. and i’d told
everyone, he’s black. but, he loves me. and you’ll
see, he’ll love us, too. he’ll fit right in. he likes when
i wear a teep on my forehead. he’s never unravelled
me in a sari. he’s never kissed me up henna
trail. never loved me in the afternoon with no kohl
and no lace and no perfume. he’s never gotten
me in just simple sentences.