I am a woman
I am soiled paper rupees I am shining gold coins
I am a diamond of glass I am an emerald of paste
a handful of earth flung on the highway
by a contemptuous gardener as rubies course through my veins
and the salt of the sea irrigates the timbre of my voice
a sea deep beyond any submarine’s reach.
I am soiled paper rupees in the vegetable vendor’s pouch
keeping company with scraps of tobacco.
I am shining gold coins nestling in the bridegroom’s lap
waiting to be sold.
I am a diamond of glass glittering in the ruler’s crown
maintaining his gloss.
I am an emerald of paste in the queen’s necklace
awaiting the evaluator’s frown.
And the salt of the unfathomable sea irrigates
the timbre of my voice
producing a song too deep for the shallow framework of words.
I am a handful of earth thrown on the highway
and inside me the seed seeking silence crouches
sheltering from the clamour of the earth.
pushes forth again, bearing jewels
to brighten kingdoms of toil.