1 min read

Someone is stealing our flowers. 

They are of a rare kind, the double hibiscus.

 Their petals are bunched together like ruffles

 on that red dress of mine. 

It covered her well too

 almost obscuring the existence 

of a female presence. 

On the day I was anticipating 

her blossoming she was gone. 

And my dismay lasted briefly. 

I shove my grief into wrapped boxes 

That I gift myself every passing year. 

But it did not matter to you. 

You never blinked when the naked stem 

of hers stared into your eyes 

It was a visceral amputation 

which left a longing for burden. 

You never asked me if I was sad. 

You never realized that this rare 

flower kept me company 

on days when the smoke 

couldn’t fill the vacuum. 

That she is the best offering 

to that god on our street 

whose unflinching stamina removes 

all obstacles (?) 

We found the thieves. 

The uncle on the second floor 

followed the couple diligently 

all the way to their house. 

It seems they were offering it to 

the god on the street. 

It seems stolen flowers are highly auspicious. 

It seems like the gods know the power of loss. 

But what about female gods? 

Female gods have cravings too. 

But what do they get? 

Metal mixed with copper 

to swirl on the toes arresting their feet. 

Fresh jasmine on the hair hypnotizing them into submission. 

Soft silk tightly draped from head to toe 

to suffocate ideas to death. 

An excess of red sprinkled, no! smothered

like a stamp of ownership. 

Maybe the red will melt through 

the dregs that have been filtered and collected 

from my failures. 

Maybe the red will unravel my stolen dreams

 onto the dismembered organs. 

Maybe the Goddess will marry 

the longing 

that the red petals have 

to get crushed under 

the hoax of love. 

Maybe I will festoon her 

with stolen hibiscus 

for a lasting untethering. 

But every night 

someone steals them. 

I need my flower, you know?

Aarthi Ashokkumar is a music teacher, a student pursuing post-graduation in music, with her feet rooted in poetry. She kind of transitioned into poetry from an early age, as the only way of expressing some of the emotions she couldn't handle on her own. She might be caught staring into a blank space from time to time or seen awkwardly smiling in the middle of a crowd.

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