120 pavans of gold to weigh you down. A kilo
of yellow that gleamed like a tiger’s eye
or like that decayed tooth that stood ready
to be plucked from grandmother’s mouth.
Grandmother didn’t survive, nor your mother
the third-degree burns
of gas stoves that explode
when dowry payments are delayed.
You have an MBA from Cu-SAT
and in this wedding sari, flaming red
with forests and palaces woven in
with golden thread—you look
just like your mother.
In fact, with 20 bangles on each arm
and jumbled necklaces
slithering down your neck to nestle
in that 8-hand-fold tuck of your sari,
you look even better.
This poem was first published in The Feminist Wire