Salomé

Sharanya Manivannan

Sharanya Manivannan

Something is always burning. You will tell me I am hallucinating, but I can only know the world through my own senses. The truth reveals itself through veils. I see your hair with its crown of thorns; twist my fingers through it, hold you closer. I bite my own lip, and bleed. Your devouring mouth so generous on the caldera of my crotch. I am baptized by your saliva, scorched in skin and nerve and shock. For the rapture it allows me, may the torch of your tongue light your way forward in the coda yet to come. First to the beheading; then to the blood wedding. My beloved, my betrayer, now that you have tasted of fire, how will you ever again walk among a tribe that cannot fathom the scent of smoke? I laugh and I laugh and I laugh, for all the despair I have seen, all the wickedness I have indulged, all the hunger I have ever endured. For the burning ghat of the body; for the abattoir of the heart. And I squeeze my thighs together as I laugh, and I hear the crack of bone against bone, a sound like an arquebusade. And then I reach down, the silver coiled around my wrists a cacophony of delight, and pick your gorgeous head up and bring it to my face. Your eyes are still lanterned with surprise when I kiss you. Your lips, luscious with lava, are still warm.

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