What She Said to Her Girl Friend -

Kalittokai 54

O you, you wear flowers of gold,
their colors made in fire,
complete with pollen,
while the flowers on creeper and branch
are parched, waterless.
Your lovely forearm stacked
with jeweled bracelets,
shoulders soft as a bed of down,

is it right not to let me
live at your feet?
he said.

And didn't let go at that,
but stayed on to grab
all my hair
scented with lemon grass,
my hair-knot held together
by the gold shark's-mouth,
and with a finger
he twisted tight
the garland in my hair
and smelled it too.

Not only that, he took
my fingers
(unfolding now
like crocus buds,
I suppose)

to cover his bloodshot eyes
and fetched a huge sigh,
blowing hot like a blacksmith
into his bellows.

like a deluded bull-elephant
fondling with his trunk
his beloved female,

he fondled my young painted breasts
till the paint rubbed off
on his rough hands.
Then he stroked me all over,
just about everywhere.

Yet friend,
with that act of his
I was rid
of all my troubles.

And I tell you this
only so that you can go
and persuade Mother:

May the sweet smells
of my marriage in our house
cling to no man
but him,
and that will be good.

It will guarantee a lasting place for us
in this world that doesn't last.
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