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Meter Monday #4: Before You Were Light

Meter Monday #4: Before You Were Light

by Emari DiGiorgio


for Jyoti Singh Pandey


You were India’s keepsake: a pashmina

shawl, a thumb size sandstone Taj Mahal.

Woman. Hymen. Dangerous siren.

Before you were light, six men lectured—a woman

out late is asking for trouble, an iron rod muzzle—

thrashed your body bloody, stripped song

from that shameful trollop mouth. The white bus

with tinted windows: your bruised face with eyes

blacked out. Had they a knife, would you a tongue

to name the crime and Delhi’s native sons? No god

or demon to blame, no resurrection

spell. Your father wants the world to know

your name means light. Arm-in-arm, your sisters

crowd the streets, their anger swells. They want

the men strung up. Twenty-five feet of your

intestines to crack their necks. Instead, a thousand

candles for each bash of the wheel jack;

the city’s an airstrip at night but

no one waits for a miracle to land.




*previously published in The Blueshift Journal, vol. 3




A Brief History of International Women’s Day

A Brief History of International Women’s Day

The "R" Word

The "R" Word

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