I drag feet of clay
Through a day too long
Flap through the slime of bad moods
To islands of coherent thought
And prepare for the battle of the sore back

I fidget in my chair
And remember too late,
I’m wearing white
I work late so the paper’s pristine
And so no one sees the stains when I leave

Stuck in traffic
I make way for a plaster-and-plastic Goddess
And as I pass,
A hand, a living hand, a Chowmein-fueled hand
Grabs my breast

I freeze in an expression of panic-joy
And I bite back, in equal measure,
A scream and a tear
And pull back a cover of dignity
After all, the female form is in celebration this week

I silence the inner screams with chocolate
While outside my window,
Drums beat out an ode to womanhood
I close my eyes and sigh
Hello to my monthly visitor

No room for me
In the goddess’s procession tonight
Because my sweat and my tears
Are but salt and water
But no one wants to know that a Goddess bleeds too.


*This is a re-telling of an older poem. This Goddess has flowered and matured. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, this is right in time to welcome Navratri/Durga Puja.