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  • “Frida To Sharanya”

    Sleep wherever is most convenient for you.
    Whoever and whatever is left in the morning,
    take home. Be kind. All the world is yours for
    the taking, long as you know that your little heart is
    theirs for the breaking. Leave lipstick on their
    china and on your letters. Make sure they know
    that you’re a mariposa, blue as copper sulphate,
    or blue as the sea, blue as a baby stilled too soon,
    darling wench, and you never really intend to leave.
    Set love free like a boat with neither oars nor anchors.
    Trust it. Don’t trust yourself. Accept every familiar
    that comes, even if one happens to be a goat. Forgive
    less of people. Remember that things come in triptychs.
    Be magnificent, like Coatlicue. You only owe it to me,
    but break a mirror now and then, if you can afford it.
    Kiss as much as you want to, and as few. Be difficult.
    It will make you more desirable. If it will help you to
    let him go, cut off your hands. They will grow back.
    You don’t need them. You don’t need him. The older
    you grow, the more you will amputate. Dance on stumps
    if you have to, but don’t stop. Wear one item of red
    every Wednesday and when death comes for you,
    you will go as his bride. Burn every bridge you ever
    built, and build as many as you possibly can. The one
    that takes you home will be the last one standing.
    Sing over the bones. Go slow.
    Don’t forget me.

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    Silence

    By Anasuya Sengupta

    Too many women in too many countries
    speak the same language of silence.
    My grandmother was always silent –
    always aggrieved —
    only her husband had the cosmic right
    (or so it was said) to speak and be heard.

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    Girl Friday at the University

    Meena Kandasamy

    She wanders like a flimsy ghost
    in the two-hundred-year-old
    university where love thrives
    in large abandoned third-floor
    classrooms, monkeys shag on
    corridors, restless gossip piles up
    like dirty dishes in the canteen,
    and young women learn some
    tough lessons.
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    How to Eat A Wolf

    Does all lust start and
    end like this? Don’t get me
    wrong. I loved my wolf.
    I held him tethered like
    a pussycat. I nursed
    the rumble in his belly
    with hands gentle as a burglar’s.
    He lived on milk
    and blood and ocean. He
    had violets for his furs.

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