Fresh milk, rice,

and sweet ghee

the nectar that

dripped through

naughty Krishna’s fingers

as he hid from the gopis

perfume the room with

the scent of the stars

and the planets.

The smell will

remind you that

this is no ordinary fire.

This is the yajna

The dance of

Kali, the demon slayer

each flaming tendril licking

life out of the air

as it drinks wood

and slowly,

exhales

the way a flutist breathes

himself into silver.

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