Finalist

When Kali Runs in Your Veins

Her body shaking, she raises her ankle up
to her waist, palm up palm down, arms
vibrating bangles to the elbow.

This bank teller turned devi
who swallows flames, takes the soot
from her mouth and rubs it into foreheads.

Sticking her blackened tongue out, she’ll
start searching for men to gather
at her feet. Don’t question

why heat starts to raise from your arms,
why the balls of your heels ache to stomp
the ground, why howling laughter begins.

 

 

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