Size / / /

And in her seventh year of penance she stopped writing,

words sacrificed half-formed, thoughts


this her puja, since her breath

had never been worth offering.

—Is that how it is? The story spelling itself

weaving together, the only dance

the only me

I still had, did Agni dance it to ashes?

And I should smile and hope you like the smell

enough to grant me my superpower, is that it? Endless strength,

being male, not dying inside or out but ripped apart

on the man-lion's lap, is that the goal? Believe

the caste priests' lies

and keep wishing? I want nothing

but myself.

Bho Ganesha


Am I the scribe, breaking

or the breaking tusk?

Shweta Narayan was born in India and has lived in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Scotland, and California. They feel kinship with shapeshifters and other liminal beings. Their short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana, We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology, An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables, Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Fantasy, and Clockwork Phoenix 3, among others. Shweta was the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at Clarion 2007 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Nebula Awards.
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