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My black roses thrive in
a palace made of ivory
and bone

            And Death

He has blossomed
in me from
the beginning

Our nights
are lust and scarlet
His ice eyes thaw


He bites the red seeds
Off my skin
His hair smears

on my hips I grow thorns

In my skin, on the walls,
in his heart

His rattle for a heartbeat
Found its chasms between my
Wine soaked thighs

He cries
I am his redemption
his tears are bloodstains
on the ground

               We scorch the Earth’s core
and leave it molten
when we collide

He made me wings
With the bones
Of a hell-hound
for me to fly
when I wished

               I flew to straight to his throne

They lied to you,
When they said
I let out cries
Like burnt sunflowers
when I descended into
              the inferno

When he came
to me
I chained him to my
ankle with
the laurel wreaths

               so flowers and death
would interlace
for all the days to come

I nurse his hurt
the way I watched you
tend to your fields

but he can never heal
he is made of too much
for happiness
too little
to disintegrate

He falls everyday
(he cannot seem to remember
the shade of the sky
no matter how hard he tries)

I raise him
with my vines
and full, bursting lips
every night

               The mountains weep fire
when we
make love

He falls every day
to the grief
in his marrow
he can never heal
              and I will never leave



Learning How to Speak

1. I knew how to spill : ink, coffee and sometimes, lust.

But not how to speak.

2. At church, the priest who moved lips like a creaking tectonic plate seemed like an old friend. One who spoke with the belief of a valley. One who learned a habit from me and kept it longer than I kept my collection of seashells.

I know because I spoke, once, of you like he told them of miracles.

The ocean forgot to hum when you left.

3. When words do not leave, they form the foundation of a faulty tribute.

I can tell you of ten I built to my courage that collapsed.

4. Collecting emotions and collecting sea shells are very different though they were both homes for souls once.

Sea shells are always pretty.

Sea shells do not stick to each other like red and green wires of a time bomb.

5. I ruptured like a brilliant sunset.

No sound, and all the blood.



Prerana is a poet and performer from Goa studying English at the University of Durham, where she is a member of the slam team.

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