April 30, 2017

Lament for Sisters, Priya Sridhar

Cruel words are sharper
Than a toad's warm belly
Rubbing against a lady's ankle,
Docile and waiting for
A hand to smack them
Into the driest soil
Meters from hospitable ponds.

Yet diamonds fall with kindness
And roses with curling thorns.
So we stand here, afraid to speak
For fear of piercing the barren cottage
With the fairy's rewards
For our words, and our water.

I would prefer a frog
To escape from my lips
Rather than the sharp diamonds
That cut through my throat
And thorns that prick,
Drawing endless blood.

What use is a marriage
Or a handful of jewels
When I lack the weight of your hand
Railing against mine? 
I'd prefer to see your smile
And solemn morning greeting

Such cruel names and taunts
Merit hard rubies and pearls 
Yet I welcome each one
Shattering the heart
Like a diamond knife
Stabbing a white periwinkle bouquet

A word can pierce, or protect
While toad can hop
And jewels only clatter.
Onto hostile grounds 
Give me all your sharpness
So that I know you are my sister

You are lovely and you love
Despite what you say
That makes my tears pool
Onto uncaring stones
And snarled green thorns
Adorning burgundy roses.

Priya says, "Laksha Media has accepted 'Memoriam' for publication in their 2017 anthology Where the Stars Rise. Beneath Ceaseless Skies accepted 'Jeweled Nawab Resort' for publication in spring 2016. Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles published 'The Opera Singer' in the 2015 Lovecraftian anthology, She Walks in Shadows. Alban Lake released my novella 'Carousel' for publication in fall 2014." Priya has numerous other writing credits.

Art by Amanda Bergloff.

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