Fatter, wider, longer we loom
as the bangles of our grandmothers shrink
to the size of a ring
that although old and borrowed
turn our fingers blue.
On the day I was bandaged
in sari and gold
to stop the ways of the new from leaking,
a fine tinkle of a tune
wrung its song around my neck
and across the cut of each starving ankle.
Old blood and new money dripped
step by step, fresh to the banquet filled with
big bellies of rice freshly squeezed
into gastric bands that I wished were tight muzzles.
Surgery is not an option for the tug in my tummy
that knows knots are used for the preservation of life
as well as strangulation and the ties of tradition.
There are other ways to release our throats
and fork our tongues
just as there are other ways to evolve and unravel
using scissors instead of a scalpel.
*First published in Passengers Journal, June 2022.