The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “The Goddess Monologues” by Vandana Khanna

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Parvati Laments Her Reincarnation

My body a revision of bones and skin,
face a dim-lit moon looking for its place
in the sky. How many times must we

rewind, start the story over? The stink
and heat of a wife’s work stuck to my skin,
then you—smelling distant, of moss

and meadow. Each time we meet
something gets subtracted: the peculiar
beat of my blood, the browned husks

of my eyes. Read my palm, tell me where
to stand. Lie and say you hear the river
rushing through me, vein by vein.


This selection comes from the poetry chapbook The Goddess Monologues by Vandana Khanna, which is available to purchase here from Diode Editions.

Vandana Khanna was born in New Delhi, India and attended the University of Virginia and Indiana University, where she earned her MFA. She is the author of two full length collections: Train to Agra, winner of the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize and Afternoon Masala, the co-winner of the 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, The Goddess Monologues, won the Diode Editions Chapbook Competition, and was published in March 2016. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Missouri Review, the New England Review and Prairie Schooner as well as the anthologies Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jennie Frost is a Jewish, Appalachian poet from Maryville, TN. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Anomaly, Kudzu, Glass Mountain, Sink Hollow, Indicia, Mochila, Stirring, and Political Punch, an anthology on the politics of identity from Sundress Publications. She is a three-time winner of the Curtis Owens prize and beginning in January, she will serve as the Writer in Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.


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