Remnants of the Goddess

Let them come for what’s left:
a chorus of bone, river and soot.
Worthy enough. Holy enough. 

Like all the others, singular—or not.
Wanting only for your name to blue 
my lips and call it miracle. 

Our love double-knotted, saddle-stitched
held the world together. Until it didn’t—
all the words you placed in me flushed
and faltered. From memory, I recited 
their worn prattle—cut them clean 
with my bite. The jungle we made in blame 

grew and grew, fed on our melancholy. 
Not even the birds knew to change their songs. 


Copyright © 2018 by Vandana Khanna. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 24, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I am working on a collection of poems in the voices of Hindu goddesses retelling epic myths from their points of view. ‘Remnants of the Goddess’ loosely draws from myths where goddesses are burned or asked to walk through fire to prove themselves pure, worthy, holy. I started to think about what gets left behind after all the storytelling is done. Whose stories get told, and ultimately, who gets to be called special, holy, and worth remembering.”
Vandana Khanna