Mithyā by Uma Gowrishankar


I collect the debris in the hem of my skirt:
stones, glass, clay – they fit into my frame.

Stones go to make the spine, one below
the other like the cobbled path in the garden;

ash settles in the crevices, blown from the sea;
smoke like clouds fills the nose and eyes;

desires crumble, turn powder in my hands.
Then the son that I bore in the depth of silence

faces south, lights fire and pours clarified butter.
The river flows through me, at the murky bed

crowd faces of loved ones, collected like shells
from the lips of seas during my many lives.

* Mithyā , in Sanskrit means illusion

                – Uma Gowrishankar

Uma Gowrishankar is from Chennai, South India. She blogs her poetry here.