DÆDALUS Magazine

Consumed by Sri Lal #poetry #poet #prose #author #amwriting #CUNY #NYC #India

by Sri Lal

Art: SMC.

I am consumed by desire.
I intend to do what is right

but action gives off smoke like fire.
I would be harmless

like the monk who will
not handle a water gourd,

or horsehair whisk for fear
of disturbing flies,

one who wears a cotton mask
so as not to swallow gnats

or do damage to what lives
invisible in air. Yet, even as I

stay to the path
in my flapping sandals,

veil my face, breathe
gently and speak softly

as I walk,
who will still the wild

rampage of this mind?
In the deepest hours of night,

Lal bares herself to her Lord
of the blue lotus throat

that he may wipe clean the dust
smudged mirror of her soul,

see his own face of consummate
light look back.

Art: SMC


Sri Lal’s creative writing has appeared in Fiction International, the New York Quarterly, Chicago Quarterly Review, Epiphany, Bangalore Review, and others. She is the author of Atma Bodha (O Books, 2012), a collection of Indian hymns in English translation. She teaches literature and creative writing in the English Department at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College.


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