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An Invocation For A Wilting Feminist

By Swati Ravi Nain

Kali, Kamini, Saraswati,

Draupadi, Hidimba, I call you.

Medusa, Oeja, Sekhmet, Hecate,

Tiamat I call you.

Judith, mother of Lady Macbeth,

I call you with your blood-stained hands.

Pandora, I invoke your name and your curse,

unlock the box of hope and hatred within me.

Athena, I call you to the hunt.

I slay as you slay.

I scorch mercy to vapor

with my coal red breath.

La Loba I call you to knit my bones

and breath flesh into my story.

I call you into the hammer of my fist,

into the girth of my thighs,

I call you to sing into my navel,

to gird my shoulders, to steel my heart.

Zoraya, mother, maiden, crone,

spinner, weaver, cutter of thread, I call you.

I weave you with my veins,

my sinew, my hair.

And then sharp as the edge of hunger,

I cut.

Medusa, I grind you into my bones,

may my eyes still the world

and congeal its blood to stone.

Sisters all, you are me and mine.

I have played at your knee

and you at mine.

I have braided your hair

and drunk of your blood.

I have curled in your laps

and lulled you to sleep.

I have kissed you awake

and held your hands to walk the dream.

I worship you,

as I worship myself.

I have read your stories

into my skin.

I have breathed your anger

into my lungs.

Your lusts and disappointments

have salted and spiced my days.

I call you to stand beside me.

To scream through my throat.

To dance with me

upon the ash of the world.

Free of false stories,

rising anew to hear the truth.

For now, there is no voice but ours.

And with every story

we sing a into being

a world that spins around us.

By Swati Ravi Nain

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