curry nipple / shrapnel bindi / lassi whiplash / lengha language / rumproof canefield / erotic indenture / henna pregnancy / golden roti / chocolate kajal / pagan burial / choke me / kindly in / these archives / camphor mothbites / grandmother’s saris / drowning dowry / wield the / mace and / master me


this is not a burning / these are not white spells


witch hindu walks everywhere on blue throated feet
scattering febrile cockheads, emptying all bad seed
witch hindu knows your atmosphere, can taste it in
the charnel house your kind raped my kind adjacent
to without a single prayer for the irradiated skin, o
witch hindu promises you will not be able to think of
sorries in the land where reparations are drawn first
from the battlements of your thighs, o descendants
of sailors and minstrels of thanes and thieves and kin
who walk upright and never permit their girlfriends


to come


witch hindu has a ceremony for you under the cutlass
of her tongue, gathering all the hymens of indenture
in her four arms as ribboning hurricanes, glowering
pregnant, growing darjeeling and lanate and rum


mortuary deya / guillotine kohl / grandfather’s cutlass / hidden beef / halogenic boneshards / India, disgorged / these archives / kindly / choke in me / consummation dagger / turban deathmask / holy pornshop / hunted bride / translucent elephant / trampling down


these are not white burnings / this is not your spell

Copyright © 2021 by Shivanee Ramlochan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 26, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.