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

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Goddess in the Dark

You kept me hidden in a drawer of wilt
and weeds, seeds sprouting sour: where
you left the tiger, the ash, our story.

Fire always the prerequisite to love.

What a way to treat a lady. I stayed midnight
to midnight, the air a stubborn gem of black.

Bowed my head, practiced how to hold
the shattered bowl of the moon in my hands.

The silver sprigs of light slipping through
the weave of my fingers I mistake for holiness.

I never catch enough to make it day.

The thorn’s deft nips in the dark mark
our love in hot scratches, leave my

happiness scabbed, tough to the touch.
I choke down my prayers, the only
way I know how to be.


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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