The River of Girls

i.m. India's missing girls

This is not really myth or secret.

This murmur in the mouth
of the mountain where the sound
of rain is born. This surging
past pilgrim town and village well.
This coin-thin vagina
and acid stain of bone.
This doctor with his rusty tools,
this street cleaner, this mother
laying down the bloody offerings
of birth. This is not the cry
of a beginning, or a river
buried in the bowels of the earth.
This is the sound of ten million girls
singing of a time in the universe
when they were born with tigers
breathing between their thighs;
when they set out for battle
with all three eyes on fire,
their golden breasts held high
like weapons to the sky.

Tishani Doshi, "The River of Girls" from Everything Begins Elsewhere. Copyright © 2013 by Tishani Doshi.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Source: Everything Begins Elsewhere (Copper Canyon Press, 2013)
More Poems by Tishani Doshi