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Nowadays Kali
only my soul
drapes around You as worship
No longer giving You a bath,
decking You up
feeding  with the choicest items for Naivedyam
Adorning you with flowers
intertwined with gems
both glowing  richly in reds and greens
and brooding sapphires as well
I can no longer recite
Your One Thousand names
nor utter Sanskrit and vernacular shlokas
to You.
I just am by You
A wraith
if You must label me.
My body
I used and abused
With meat
and liquor far less intoxicating
than Your glance
In life I lay
on silken sheets
On rough Khadi cotton
with men, a woman or two
and a person of undecided sex
who just wanted to be cuddled
saying fascinating stories in return
This body is tired
bereft of its soul
It too seems to want to reach You
as it seasons in the pyre
Despite the retreat of memory
lingers the fervent prayer of my cells
As they say
“Take me, take me now
Kali” — Lakshmi Bayi

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