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Portrait of the poet as young woman by Chandramohan S

Artwork by Rachna Ravi

Her hair

Freshly harvested dreadlocks

Unedited gospel of love

Off limits to combs.

Tresses like streams

Of eternal fire-

From the arsenal of her body.

Poems conceived in a celestial tongue

When stars align with cesarean precision.

It is our own language.

Her verses

Are neither left nor right aligned

Time zones hinge at every line break

Like sunflowers- UN-aligned to the scorching heat.

Every evening, on her terrace ,

she lets her hair down and flies kite,

Her verses tell vivid stories

Stitched together in myriad colors.

Her verses gurgle like rivers let loose.

She never braids them

With her bare hands

Before a poetry reading.

When her poems are read

No boyfriend or pimp is allowed

Inside the reading hall.

Her kite, untethered to her surname,

Soars high, till it gets entangled with the stars.

Attempting to translate her poems

Is like making love to a capricious mistress.

Her curly, kinky stream of verses

Sway to the rhythm of her gait

Untamed by the clanging of her anklets.

Her book of poems,

a treatise on disheveled hair

and tresses on fire.


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