Dear O —

Vandana Khanna

I’ll tend to the monsters at home and leave

you to yours — the quick flash of silver

rippling under a blue so blue it must be a trick.

Mine arrive at my door, dropping their

greed ripened in jars at my feet, their mouths

leaking the sweet poison of disaster.

Even my hair is a dark trophy they lay

claim to: spread across their pillows,

wrapped around their wrists.

A hundred and eight sets of eyes watching

my neck. Thinking swan. Thinking snap,

and mine. Widow, wonder, wench.

Remember when you called me goddess?

Half-lit girl with starfish in her hair.

Night caught in your teeth like prophecy.

Who thinks of that girl now?

The one who dreams of shark’s teeth

and brine. Who thinks of the restless

queen she has become, her anger —

a blackened hive missing all

of its honey, wrung free of gold?


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