lament of the clay anklet

should the sharded anklet go
home where no names are spoken
or out in the open where sulfurous
kannagi, livid, goes a routin’?

can the caste out voice speak at
all in a room full of tenors
rasping out airs – heirs of plumped
entitlement and closed spaces?

would the sunken claw out and
bark, bereft of sun, unmoored
and short of tooth, of bite?
kannagi, livid, ekes out smoke.

Kannagi is the avenging widow from the Tamil epic Silappatikaram (‘The tale of an anklet’).