Prayer to Recognize the Body
There must be a word for this
heart-growing, to explain these teeth,
stinging skin like a gift, tremble of
hair coaxed from sweat and scalp.
The next thing I covet: the third eye’s
velvet blink, the green pulse in my veins
of a forest I can’t make myself step out of.
And what of all the things remade, swabbed
free of salt? Because who can tell
the difference in the dark between
antlers and branches and bone, between
the thick-haired chest of an animal and you.
Previously published in Passages North.
Born in New Delhi, India, Vandana Khanna is the author of two collections: Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, as well as the chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. Her poems have won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, The Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, and the Diode Editions Chapbook Competition.