Barnali Ray Shukla - The king would send his men

In another time, in another life, they would call those embers, eyes.

 

Eyes that spoke in bold italics,

brimming with kohl

kohl that wore silence,

bore songs like vapours

of your breath on linings

of silver that held clouds

of doubt in my breast-

the king would send his men.

 

Men to tie his queens to a role

between Mondays and Fridays,

wet days and dry days,

her days and my days,

 

But we were a country

with no borders, molten stories

with no frays

bare in our layers of wraps,

before the king scored with us

on torn jasmines of our tiara.

 

His men nailed our sway, in ways

they tore our faith but we flourished

as we wore cyanide inside us, no

we didn’t die, we mapped a country

 

We belong to each other, in another time, in another life.

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