Till there were no stars
In the dream, the devis were different –
dancing with arms out, breasts
to the wind, glorious. It was so obvious
they owned the earth.
Who could have created them?
Each one laughing larger
than the other, echoes like shots
fired to the horizon, remarkable blue
of expansion. No tree in sight, the night
then nothing. Me and my girlfriends
paused at the clearing. Hands by our thighs,
eyes blinking. We could not believe it.
Did our mothers know? Did our grandmothers?
The devis in their temples were small –
hands laden with food or flowers.
And where were the gods – the husbands?
Where were the children? Were we allowed
such freedom? The night
was our class 12th farewell party,
dressed in our favourite sarees,
hot pink and jazz, ready for the world
under the Saket mall, the stuffy basement
of mocktails and men’s armpits.
Could we stay? Here, in this vision?
DJ devi yelled to the others – Come on!
She swerved and the circle expanded.
Our hair was itchy – in we melted –
copying their steps, mirroring
their breaths, our long singing necks.