Anuradha Vijayakrishnan was born in Cochin, India. She completed a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Calicut University, Kerala and a post graduation in Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. She writes fiction and poetry while pursuing a full time corporate career. In 2007, the unpublished manuscript of her first novel, Seeing the girl, was long listed for the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize. Her work has appeared or is due to appear in Eclectica, Bare Root Review, Nth Position, Orbis, Desilit, Aesthetica, The Pedestal Magazine, The King’s English, Every Day Poets, Stony Thursday Anthology, Poetry Chain, Indian Literature, Muse India , Asia Literary Review and Magma.
In her hands they are like dust. Or sun-dried
blood, fine-polished. Glittering, unlike
her eyes that slept through the day and through
the caveman nights that came snaking
out of their den and shed their skin
on hers; on hers, for god’s sake.
With her hands, she unravels them on her
skin; that skin scrubbed twice and raw. The beads
drizzle over, touching off cold sparks, tiny
nerve spots that meet and combust. So there is
life yet, and there is something that lives. Rubies
beneath the damaged soil, secret black emeralds
that laugh at the night, laugh at the scarred day.
On her hands she makes red markings. One cross
for every spent force, one knot for each thing
that was taken. She moves those hands in clenched
circles – willing them to cleanse
and be cleaned.
The beads find their way to her feet. Sunspots fall
into her eyes and she turns them into tears.
When I dance, I am like a rustic. Oily-haired
and round armed. I flap my head and grin
at invisible birds. I rise and fall in the garden
sand, laugh out loud when the rhythm
beats my feet.
So this music suits; this wooden bench
on which I can dance suits too. I can clank
my rings, my beaded chains here. Can imagine
wood drums, swing my bountiful hips, go one-two
with my heels, my shoulders, my chin.
Snake-dance, peacock-dance; dance even
like a happy calf with new milk sloshing
in my mouth. Kick my donkey heels
as if they can’t break.
And then, the neighbours fall off, their pet dogs
and their studio kitchens fall
off. My cellphone shatters against the wall, and the internet
dissolves into unreality. Beetles and moths
gather in the corners to watch.
Green plants in window boxes shiver
at the feet, of this goddess
who dances, like a rustic.