the guilt-glazed love lay on andal’s breasts,
thick and heavy as him.
frightened with force
and locked away, she conjured him every night.
her emperumaan, her emperor-man.
recklessness on speed-dial, she became
a rape romantic. he, a bodice ripper.
their bootleg shadows
burst out with the sun. people pointed fingers
at parted curtains, a scandal of shape-shifters.
her hair undone, silver-grey lips, skipped meals,
and nightmares of a thousand elephants…
she learned to nurse
every rumour like a love-bite. in her defence,
she said her darling was a deity.
they sent her packing to spend time with him
murder as marriage, execution as consummation.
nothing survived them…
only her poems which celebrated those fucks
he doled out for her frantic devotion.