On the western ghats of the city,
Children are bathing.
Husbands are burning their wives;
The river, resigned, takes everyone in.

Some say the river is bent on death,
But we are born with murder at the caul;
Crowned with what’s been torn
From the core of another, our mother,

Squatting to wash the pits of herself
With one hand pure enough to serve
The body’s high and public needs,
The nether other shunned and wholly still.