Her amber eyes were a lighthouse
reflecting their fury on an ocean
that fluttered inside her restive heart
a tornado of endless dreams, gypped
by the ferocity of an ill- timed winter
that extinguished this burnt- out candle.
The spectral night slithered through
her serpentine neck, splattering
rubies across her warm belly-
Her crimson lips smiled nonchalantly
while the magma erupted within her.
The staccato ticking of a clock silenced
those lifeless hands in a dirge,
A whirring fan emboldened just above
diffused incensed hymns, dispelling winter’s curse.
Dulcet necklaces hung in the air –
Hollow tubes entangled in a labyrinth of memories
Ah! The smell of dankness embossed
in her marble lips now waxen cold.
Quivering veins ingested with Nembutal
sedated her nonchalance into a stupor
seeping into the quietus of night.
The azure sky smeared the kohl of her eyes
into the canvas of night
leaving skeletal trees to behold an oppressive silence.
The wind howled through the feathered mist
filigreed with fresh carnation wreaths
drenched in the fragrance of night.
The thorn from her lily- white breast yanked out
had lingered still like gangrene-
The deathly dance grew untamed
until the chaff blew away into the wind.
A star twinkles in the dead of night
And the billowing wind moans-
Vandita Dharni is an acclaimed poet, scholar and gold-medalist from the University of Allahabad. She has a Ph.D. degree in American Literature from the same University. She has authored three anthologies, Quintessential Outpourings, The Oyster of Love and Rippling Overtures. Her articles, poems and stories have been published in journals like Criterion, Setu, Ruminations, GNOSIS, Hell Bound Publishing House and International magazines like Immagine and Poessia, Synchronised Chaos, Silver Birch Press, Inner Child Press, Raven Cage E-zine, Sipay, Fasihi and Guido Gozzano. She is also the proud recipient of the World Poetic Star Award 2019, the Rabindranath Tagore Award 2020 and the Gujarat Sahitya Academy Award 2020.