nrtta. nrttya. naattya.
stomp, step, feel
– you lie beautifully. the lamp shines liquid gold on your
skin as smooth as brass-perhaps,
which they rub and rub and rub to clean you, to purify
the soul in your eyes which roll up and down and side
to side as if they see through me and behind me, tracing over my
clavicle, your eyelashes flicker on me, around the edges
of my lips into my flesh. you lie beautifully;
rasas line your face, each wrinkle bordered in bhayanaka-black
a threatening green and krodha-red, widening
your eyes, the purity they created reflects me
instead- eyeliner lashes up and out in
vengeance ready to stab my
heart over and over in return for ruining you.
– naattya, you lie beautifully, acting out the stories I
planted inside of you.
– your pulls are gentle, rhythmic, tugging on the tala I
carefully set for you, spinning faster and faster and
faster until I can no longer breathe out the bol in
accordance to your ever-changing beats. I can
barely breathe. your pulls are gentle;
steps weighing on me, your smile retains a sringhar-green as
your envious foot falls into me, bones dissipating
into ashes, a pyre of my flesh underneath your utsaaha-orange
fingernails delving into my back. I squeamishly
close my eyes when your rhythm
falters, the hasa-white of your taunting
laugh blinds me, ignoring the ankle bells creating
elaborate ragamalas in blood on the insides of my legs.
– nrittya, your pulls are gentle, carving out the
parts of me you want to keep and the ones you’d soon expel.
– you kill me, over and over again, I die a thousand
distinct deaths under the heat of your jugupsa-blue
gaze, as I scream and shudder
and cry in vain over the sheets you are
suffocating me in. you stomp on the shoka-gray ashes
I left behind. you kill me;
the legacy of the story you told reflects in the blood-stained
knife your mudras hold, the edge of your dance dipped in
the vismaya-yellow I last saw before I closed my
eyes on you. my weight drooping in your arms, you
let me fall for the fear of being stuck.
– nritta, love, you kill me, stepping over
and under and through my being: I’m
an emptied, shanta-white shell.