By Lipika Raghunathan
My poetry focuses on feminism in an abstract and lyrical way. The title and content reflect the color blue in Hindu mythology as well as the colloquial use of “feeling blue” to describe depression.
Dusk day starts anew dusky girl mirrored glass reflects society’s ugly shrapnel pierced that soft tender skin soft from the light of the radiant sun and salty sea child of nature universe in the mouth hari hari hari hari krishna hari girl, green with envy hurry, girl, the world will not wait for you you will not have endless possibilities but i am twilight colored more complex than you could imagine i am flushed, that hot red southern sun rising i am bruised, purple and pained, striped through i am rage, white hot fury as i warm the earth hour by hour you don’t realize this celestial girl is the creator, the maintainer, and the great destroyer dark dusk in the morning bright, rich lapis afternoon end, periwinkle, blinding molten gold. sad girl’s love song* *inspired by Sylvia Plath’s “Mad Girl's Love Song” who can oil that heart of rust crack that crust, make me whole again i won’t let you regain my trust never cushy love, crushed under violent lust if you are red, i go back to black and blue who can oil that heart of rust entitled, you run fingers through my thick layers of dust bit my tongue like peppercorns i won’t let you regain my trust life goes on, she must adjust saturated with sadness, life moves in blurs who can oil that heart of rust don’t return to the heart you left concussed i’d rather my memories be lobotomized i won’t let you regain my trust i have to leave it here and do myself justice wrap and nurture myself up in cashmere who can oil that heart of rust i won’t let you regain my trust roaring blue flame blue like fire that burns too hot just because she is dark it means she is evil and meant to be feared skulls clack along her collarbone her blood red tongue out she is power and rage personified as a deity golden one but when angered she is the dark one mother nature she is shakti without shakti the great destroyer is destroyed himself blacker than the darkest storm but her wickedness is maya an illusion for she is something even more frightening a hell raising, unruly wild powerful goddess ode to maya sita when young, wide-eyed, full cheeked i heard the tales, the legends over generations, the ancestors speak that saga whose end calls for triumph of festival, of light, in celebration of good over evil, our indigo hero has won set off firecrackers as ephemeral as the illusion herself the illusion: maya, phantasmic, a mirage made for accessory to the maharaj a duplicate in the uncanny valley my eyes must be tricking me my, now, weary womanly figure shaped and endowed sees those stories in the dark alleyways, black market of mythology what they didn’t teach long ago, what they didn’t want us to know devoted, dutiful, biwi consort, wife, patni lonely in a strange, new place follows that fabled golden deer, glisten rain like monsoon shimmering but gone too soon unintentionally curvaceous, still she was snatched, grabbed like a prize for the taking, male desire fulfilled she sobs in the chariot, eyes blur the demon king beams ten eerie, foreboding smiles upon her but was it her? or chaya, shadow sita? maya, the double, the specter the one who does not mind abduction, torture, and abuse so long as his true wife is not morally loose so we hope for satya, true sita her purity to be safeguarded but no room for doubt, no virgin marred for the test must be absolute trial by fire, trust in agni agony, pain, torment that impure sita burn away taken, laid by another man against her will, her own body betrayed the weak faint hearted prince took his unclean woman back as rumors swirled no fire in the world can purify the unchaste beauty she paraded herself into this, flirtatious girl how dare she contribute to rama’s public shame she wanted a rebirth, but no avatars in her to become something else escape her cursed name tossed away, back to the forest where her initial pain began pregnant, alone, now dispensed devi hoped her boys, like gemini see both sides & protect the matriarchy stories of many before her, their womanhood we grieve eat forbidden fruit and then blame deceitful eve so put a fatwa on the shrew, protect the boys lest she sing like a siren and seduce like helen of troy unjust cruel world, the cycle will continue she screams, mother earth, swallow me, let me be free return me to my natural state, no one will notice reincarnate as alar, padmavati bloom again, start anew, like a fresh water-lotus
I began to write this during quarantine and dove deep into my emotions about mental health, women of color and feminism.
Lipika Raghunathan is a marketing associate and creative living in New York City, where she has resided for her entire life. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2018 with a bachelor’s in psychology and was *this* close to minoring in South Asian Studies. When she’s not writing poetry, Lipika is probably drinking iced coffee and watching YouTube videos about Kamala Harris… or Friends. Check out her portfolio here: lipikaraghunathan.com