The Daughter Of Fire

She loathes to be shared by them
laid by each one of them: fakes orgasms,
turns the face away – one for sure has halitosis,
he chews basil leaves from the palace garden,
                            cardamom pod under his tongue when he kisses.

Her body desires the archer:  lover with long fingers
that ease the tense string of passion . She craves for more
pleads that he doesn’t go to his other women.
He is no good lover, they hiss; how is he with you?
                                                                      they ask her.

Her eyes cloud in fury, the rich silk
cuts her body like the knife he uses in the kitchen:
he touches her tenderly drawing maps of sweat on her skin.
                                  She is done with love making. 
He fumes and screams in sleep like an animal.
She refuses to cover her breast
he sees these pawed and maligned
not an object of desire anymore
                                  lascivious eyes had feasted on them.

He kills again and again for her.
Her hair matted with blood, breasts
caked with gore. She will not let them touch her
anymore: they have whored her.
                                                      The cursed woman.

(The cursed woman is a powerful character from an Indian epic. Read here.  I have been fascinated by  Mahasveta Devi’s reading of this character. Read this. It is from here I borrow the trait of the wronged woman refusing to cover her breasts. The breast is no more an erotic object but an object of revenge, a reminder of male impotency.)  



7 thoughts on “The Daughter Of Fire

  1. it is said that Arjuna was Draupadi’s favourite. as to his wives, there is a saying” aathu manala yenninaalum yennalaam, arjunan pondaattiya yenna mudiyaadhu”. Great uma.

  2. What a stark representation in poetic form, of a principle shared in therapist training: the opposite of love isn’t hatred, they’re actually closely related feelings in terms of brain science. Both can make us crazy. Vivid poem!

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