She climbs the rickety stairs of this mottled building: half-willinghalf-unwilling. The walls smeared with layers of tobacco sputum. Stench of the urinals wafts, like vile green fingers, beckoning her to a dinghy room located at the end of the dark corridor. Retching away in her perfumed handkerchief she clumsily mounts atop the examination table, and a clandestine sonography of the fetus’ gender is conducted.
On this ninth night of Navaratri, the daughter and many others like her, awaken from their tiny caskets, leaving the monochromatic swirl of the sonogram monitor. With kumkum smeared foreheads they enter the alleys of a patriarchal society as Goddess of Shakti: Amba, Durga,Chandika and Kali. Their Trishuls glint silver in the moonlight as they dance, trance-like, to the drum beats around a holy fire.
They surround the demons, who denied them the privilege of human birth. Blowing their conch shells; swirling their long black tresses round and round, these unborn Goddesses behead the culprits. The tips of their sickles dripping red, they return to claim what is rightfully theirs.


forget me nots…
the bruises
on a lost rag doll

Yesha Shah


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