• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07


Lopsided eyes
Clouded and lost
Tufts of hairs
Marked as sacrificials
The preparatory censer
Swung by the bearers
As the Shamans haul the igneous
Souls out from the burning coals
That mark patterns on the ceiling
Yet to be deciphered
A staff is hard pressed against the
Of the propitiatory offering to unimpressed Gods,
That leaves a ruddiness where the blood
Collects in a huddle
Making the flushed face all the more ashen
In comparison to the excitable look of the Gathering crowds
That await an answer from the macabre
Play of the elements
As the gold locket glints when the leaping
Flames come closer to her;
The one who in the past had mothered
These very folks
After the Crown had passed to her
From her husband's funeral pyre,
Though now it looks all muddled
As she grasps for her life
Clutching her dignity



As she bites her lips
While the body writhes in unbearable pain
To maintain a decorum even as the skin
Can no more contain her agonising claim,
And she gives up at last
Acceding to the wisdom of the heavens
Willing to abdicate the throne
In lieu of a life of her own
Even if ordinary and redundant
Even if not good enough to salvage her
But better than to be the bride
Slaughtered to make room for
The patriarch;
As the stench abates, and they throw her
Off balance out of the blaze,
She walks away, nursing her wounds
As the Wise ones ask the mobs to move
And in the autumn of her life
She becomes her own person
Not judged for her choice.