2 poems by Ashwini Bhasi – The Feminist Wire

2 poems by Ashwini Bhasi




We gave 125 pavans of gold to weigh you down—a kilo

of yellow that gleamed like a tiger’s eye


or like that decayed tooth that stood ready

to be plucked from your grandmother’s mouth.


Grandmother didn’t survive, nor your mother,

her third degree burns. Gas stoves may explode


when dowry payments are delayed. But you have

an MBA from CU-SAT and in this wedding sari


flaming red with forests and palaces woven in

with golden thread—you look just like your mother.


In fact, with 20 bangles on each arm and those jumbled

necklaces slithering down your neck


to nestle in that 8-hand-fold tuck

of your sari—you look even better.


Go make us proud drowned in gold.




The House Gecko



You lurked on the whitewashed ceiling

of my childhood with its single tube light.


Pretty moths flew towards you, thirsty

for light—their delicate shapes covered


with raw intricate patterns, drawn

in powder colors—mine were smeared


by the touch of a man’s calloused hand.

The moths fluttered in the florescence


till you crawled, ceiling alligator!

In seconds, each wing was bitten off.


They ran in silence—writhing bodies burning

in the naked light, with you in merciless


pursuit—pale rubber belly slithering,

filled with translucent shapes of wings.



Ashwini_Bhasi-Ashwini_BhasiAshwini Bhasi lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and analyzes DNA sequences for disease-causing mutations during the workday and cannot stop writing poetry at night and on weekends. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Driftwood Press, Eunoia Review, and Cyclamens and Swords. She writes poems to make sense of the mind-body connection of her chronic pain, her life as an immigrant and the duality of her experiences as a scientific data analyst and poet.