The Bridal Lament

by Zamira Rahim

Intimacy’s liquid tragedy, seeping
viscous kohl adornment. 
Soul wrapped at cusp with ma’s filigree veil
grand mater’s once; bought then beyond
virginal dawn unrelated to mark gleaming
upon collarbone. Begin -
a drunk boxed out of Delhi,
pawning twenty carat bangles for sampling claret
and cobalt, sweet of Eid. Middling -
father dearest. Slightest enunciation upward 
compelling maternal feet 
to run; voice filling physicality’s crevice.
Babe traced some invisible bruise,
a kiss into psyche.
And in the low light conspire
to spring a husband upon
prodigal, proverbial Nineteen. 
The ellipses of stories own
muffled by thought of blue moon reputation…
So conclude with me the coward, 
jaundiced eyes and jasmine hair prostrated
within bloodline trap.
Burn out all stars, scorch breeze ‘til silvered.
Listen. Hearts keen anew.
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