Roshani Chokshi writes fantasy with an Asian twist. Her work has been published in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, The Feminist Wire and Book Smugglers. Her debut novel, THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN is an Indian Young-Adult fantasy and will be published by MacMillan/St. Martin's Griffin in May 2016. ///////////// Kavitha Rath has lived in Atlanta, Chennai, and London, and is currently in Washington, DC. Her poetry has appeared in New Asian Writing and Indian Review, and is forthcoming in The Bangalore Review and Danse Macabre.
Mahabharata’s Silent Women Speak
The following is an excerpt from the Papercuts print edition.
You are at the foothills of a long destroyed temple, now veiled with moss and lichen. You see fragments of the Mahabharata wrapping around the soapstone and granite edifices — an elephant with a raised trunk, deities with jutted hips, quiet and mythic. A handful of stone bodies lean out of carven niches, they watch you pass, whispering silenced stories that no one has heard in years. Invisible miasma reaches out, pierces you. Through you, they find their voices. You live in their stories now.
The Sacrifice: Madri
Oil lamps hover at your feet,
The flames lick up from the slick liquid pool,
This love, incendiary,
You live in a fire-dream,
These tourists that traverse the rubble,
You lose your taste
Sons of sunrise and sunset,
This life reduces you to an object
The poem forgets you are half cloud and water,