Ashwini Bhasi 

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

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