Stood Up

I put on my grandmother’s silk saree. She

wore it just once, on her sister’s wedding 

day, then passed it on to my mother, who 

passed it on to me when I turned thirteen. 


I clip on my emerald earrings and apply 

rouge to my cheeks and lips. The finishing

touch: I have stuck two petunias into my

carefully coifed bun. Enveloped in the green


of pasture fields—pink brush strokes forming 

petals that float on the ripples of the fabric 

of my garment—I wait for you on a bench 

in The Hanging Gardens. But you never arrive. 


I have become the flowers in my hair, now 

in my hand—droopy, ready to be dumped 

and left behind. Gathering around, thick 

clouds of green obliterate the sun.