An absent solo descends,
secular luminance seeking to endure
amidst tradition's yearly clamors to the willful maiden,
teaching her to hollow her hearing.
She loved her India childhood,
the apples blazing in the ripe sun and it was too late for
corsets, once all of her ability to curve inside herself had vanished.
Her heart's laments were speared
by puffs of opium dreams, for a world without petticoats,
where her identity cast a shadow that extended farther than
the dusty reach of hearth and home.
In her seventeenth year, petals
of saccharine verses, trying to tame sun-licked skin,
screeched the promise of domestic symphony.
And the suitors' complacent messages
deserved the coiling, black smoke she blew
at the gauzed telegraphs as they laced her fingers
with rings and their brass demands
that waited impatiently across a veiled and lonely sea.