Parvati Fails the First Test of Being Holy
A shivering under my skin 
made me doubt, made me want 
to lie down in the grass with you. 
I was a page folded over, late blooming
and slim-shouldered, always getting 
it wrong: couldn’t remember 
which hand held the sickle, which 
the trident, left my blessings to rust 
in the rain.  Ruined by nothing 
but my thoughts, I wanted to be plain 
and unconditional so I could slip 
unnoticed between this world 
and the next— so I could dream 
a body of my own: clever bones, 
a new flutter for the heart. 
Instead, I wilt every prayer you put 
in my mouth.  Petal-soft, it crumples 
easily in your hand’s mean curl.
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