Rita Mookerjee

Nightmare Bhajan

There are ghosts on my back legion spiny and dark-skinned, crimson-skinned, light-skinned smeary bindis and gold anklets

they roll across my bones to remind me

your nani died your dadi died you did nothing but cringe at a kiss you blocked their odd bodies from your mind suffered them only once we will remind you

tablas in the night the bansuri wail

nothing compares to your selfishness nothing saved your mother her grief the twenty-one years between her hands and nani’s atone.

Rita Mookerjee's poetry is forthcoming in Lavender Review, Sorority Mansion Review, and Spider Mirror Journal. Her critical work has been featured in the Routledge Companion of Literature and Food, the Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory, and the Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory. She currently teaches ethnic minority fiction and women's literature at Florida State University where she is a PhD candidate specializing in contemporary Caribbean literature with a focus on queer theory. Her current research deals with the fiction of Edwidge Danticat.

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