The Goddess Shows Up Late for the End-of-the-World Party by Vandana Khanna

Sari in a tear, face an ungodly mess, run of red
from one lip to the other. Over there

a blue-skinned flirt, a Krishna, looking
past me at the goddess from the next

lifetime, the one with the light eyes who
shows off her belly ring, swings her

baroque hips just so. Forsaken, reincarnated
beyond recognition, until I can’t compete,

until we can’t find each other on purpose:
on the dance floor or in print, the ink on

this love long dried. If you let me stay,
I’ll let you cut your teeth on my heart

until it becomes a black forest beating
out of time, beating me out of this world.
Vandana Khanna is the author of two full length collections, Train to Agra and Afternoon Masala, as well as the chapbook, The Goddess Monologues. Her poems have won the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, The Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, and the Diode Editions Chapbook Competition. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, New England Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner and Guernica. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review.