Wolf Woman; Regret; Fall; Hypermetropia; Fortissimo

 Wolf Woman
 Every night, 
 I turn into a wolf’s mistress.
 On our paws, we pounce together 
 into a meadow. Gorging on 
 rain-stained grass, we howl at 
 those who call us mad. 
 We howl for them.
 Round & round, 
 we dance in a skirt made of 
 bamboo leaves. How 
 these leaves crackle against 
 our bellies! Leave us as
 the deep-throated 
 laughter of logwood fire, 
 wings of a black-inked crow, 
 smog in a stone caved den. 
 Into the wind, 
 we shriek our rage 
 like half-stringed cellos. 
 Birds in their bare-nested 
 Listen, you say.
 The moon is a girl who 
 sneaks out of her house 
 to rise every night. 
 Sliding into our slippers, 
 we trail behind her footsteps. 
 This is our only way to 
 become ourselves. 
 Our only way to 

 My spoon   puckers at me
 like a flower- woman’s face.
 Begging me again to buy 
 her roses.  All of them, please.
 Give them quick, I snap––
 wrapping   their ripeness in my 
 palm.  Bristling against her 
 calf-lithe fingers. 
 How tinkling-ly clean, 
 I lisp to myself   before
 shutting the door. 
 With calluses like
 oil   springing up a 
 fern-thronged pond. 
 At the farthest end 
                 of my vision––
 a palm sized maple 
                dangles from an oak tree’s
 Over & over,
         it whirls like 
 a ghost
 its own back. 
       it is not 
    to the blaze of 
 a temple bell––
 ––it is not 
            bruising itself 
 on the violin-
          strings of 
    the wind––
 it is only 
 learning the lessons
 assigned to it 
         outside the classroom,
    in corridors
        thronged by 
 fallen children.   
 Like dust––
 the desert sun 
 tears down 
  my glassless eyes. 
 What a day it is!
 Even these sand-grains 
 look like    
 a peony       
 pollened open 
       on a bride’s bed. 
 After fighting with me for long, 
 my father storms out of my room. 
 The door shuts with a thud, like stones 
 pelted off the roof. Crows crying in squalor.
 In the wind of my father’s anger,  
 a leaf sweeps itself to the room’s end. 
 A coir of hair leaps up the floor,
 crimps into its 
 This is how I drop to the bed 
 after fighting with my father. 
 Tearless as a wall, waiting for 
 sleep to shovel me in.
 At night––his silence bursts into the room 
 like bees from a broken hive. 
 They rise upward, heaving their loss 
 on battered wings.
 All around me: their rage spills 



Photography Credit: Jason Rice (detail)

Trivarna Hariharan is a writer and pianist based in India. She has studied English Literature at Delhi University, and the University of Cambridge. A Pushcart-prize and Orison Anthology nominee – her recent poems have been published in Duende, Entropy, Stirring, Atticus Review, Front Porch, Counterclock, Rogue Agent, The Shore, and others. She has authored two collections of poetry – Letters Never Sent (Writers Workshop Kolkata, 2017) and There Was Once A River Here (Les Editions du Zaporogue, 2018).  You can read more of her work at trivarnahariharan.com.