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By Ardra Manasi

Kawabuko’s lonely figurines
aimlessly stare out of wool,
cotton and satin, when the
French critic hails for all to
hear: “Le Magnifique.”

One-eyed mannequins trade
their half-glances for
casual words of praise
from lovers on their first date.
Purring into each other’s ears,
thighs brush against one other
in anticipation perhaps
of an uninterrupted night of love.

A rectangular window
opens to a sky full of rain.
This mundane elegance
of a less abstract world,
never still.

We hold hands,
walk in and out
of museum halls
with ancient dust
on ceramic gods,
who once spoke
Greek or Roman but
now silent,
with broken ribs
from failed conquests,
full of love and wars.

I look at how you look
at other women, then
the mannequins, when I
remind you that
it is raining outside.
We need to buy an umbrella.

Ardra Manasi is a published poet in Malayalam and English. Born and raised in Kerala, South India, she is a development practitioner and writer based in New York City and has previously worked for the United Nations (UN). Her writings [poetry and prose] have appeared in Reading Hour, The News Minute, Huffington Post, Madras Courier and other publications. On Twitter, she is @ArdraManasi.

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