Into the eclipse

Grandmother said the feet of a woman bespeak her character
On the night I cried till dawn over my broken little toenail.
**
For the next 8 years I scrubbed
The tops, the sides, and the seams of my feet
Until they were ready for the grand appearance.
**
Swear to God I wanted the world to suck my toes and chant
“That’s the most beautiful pair of nirvana, if there ever was one.”
Instead I adorned them in henna and chased the happily ever after.
**
My toenails wanted to be Salma Hayek, but
Grandmother said character of a woman is like a nil mānel.
You get the bone china foot bowl if your petals look pretty in the ooze.
**
When I woke up from the pipe dream with bruises on my feet
I brought out the pumice stone and scrubbed till my eyes dried out.
**
Because Grandmother said a good woman can make out in the eclipse.

Ankita Banerjee is a fiction writer living in Pune, India. Her works have appeared in The Bangalore Review, Coldnoon (International Journal of Travel Writing & Travelling Cultures), Bonobology, and others. She writes erotica at Juggernaut Books.

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