Kasheer by Mrinalini Harchandrai

You are that mansion
allowed to evanesce

still the innocence of light
seeps through
your chandeliered heart

nature’s cashmere façade
creeps on your silken carpets

the Himalayas landscape
your upper storeys, they sweep
and staircase around you
grandly like bannisters

your roses sit embroidered
with ballroom grandeur
ghostly sweetness
against flocked velvet
and Shalimar greens,
wending between stone
corridors that belonged
to their forbears

they look at us haunted
from petal eyes,
boat lakes of ether,
as hungry woodchoppers
trespass, drawing lines
through their bedchambers

your living
are rooms of anguish
unidentified valleys of tears
still sitting around
your stately table


Mrinalini Harchandrai is the author of ‘A Bombay in My Beat‘, a collection of poetry. Her poem won first prize in The Barre (2017) and she was a finalist for the Stephen A. DiBiase Poetry Prize 2019. Her unpublished novel manuscript was selected as Notable Entry for the Disquiet International Literary Prize 2019. Her short stories have been longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2018 and selected as a Top Pick (2018) with Juggernaut Books, India. Her work has been anthologized in The Brave New World of Goan Writing 2018-19 and RLFPA Editions’ Best Indian Poetry 2018.

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