I am inspired for a sweetened coffee,
the cup engraved in moss coloured flowers
from the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal.
Breath hangs like whisper in the silence
of the vault, pollen of thickly scented spider lily
falls like the rustle of her tussar silk.
It becomes cumbersome to remove
layers of pearl every night, women whisper
in the corners of the palace that he takes her
when she fills with eggs. It’s easy to spoil coffee
in the full view of the marble building, the moon
curdles into milk like cancerous scars from fumes,
loss and pain. Sweat from the palm leaves salt,
etchings of flowers cloud like the muddied river
as froth of coffee gently bursts raining coolness.
Read here about Empress Mumtaz Mahal