Congratulations, Rita, your poem is one of our trio of winning poems for this month’s prompt… Speaking out against violence against women. May your pen have even more power in 2017.

Editors, The Woman Inc… Vinita, Pooja and Jhilmil



Faces break on cobbled
sidewalks in the cold light of day–
their festering loneliness safely
tucked under Pierrette masks.

Kohl-shrouded eyes harbor
drowned sorrows gasping to resurface.
Ruby lips mask the blue venom
of forked words.

Pristine, frilly hearts unzip
to bare maggot thoughts.
In this urban wasteland—
Persephone waits to return
with spring flowers in her hair.


It was the night when men
turned into beasts—
lurking at street corners,
hiding in plain sight.

Gargoyles clawed out my guts
with steel-tipped talons,
feasting on flesh,
each of my wounds,
a vagina oozing blood.

Crucified on the cold road,
I lay shivering naked,
longing for the warmth of electric flames—
a witch burned at stake for being
a woman,
for going out at night
for having a dream
for being there.


The woman with flowers in her hair
stands atop a hill
waiting to jump
down to annihilation
down to oblivion
down to freedom.

The woman with flowers in her hair
spreads her arms
takes the plunge
up she soars
up like a bird
up into the blue sky.


In a world where fresh cadavers are served up every day,
vigils die a flickering death by candle light,
Not a word is spoken as dreams lie splattered in blood,
do I desire yet another resurrection?


Rita Bhattacharjee is a journalist and poet based in Kolkata.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s