Earrings.
The ones that I looked at
through glass.
The ones that lay on a
purple, velvet cushion in the window
of the biggest shop in the town.
They had filigree
carved on them so that sunlight could pass
through them like it does through
the branches of a tree.

***
And when I looked at them,
I was reminded of long corridors
lined with murals of horses, elephants,
warriors, and kings and their men.
The corridors that led into huge rooms
with marble carvings on ceilings which stayed
like constellations
in the sky.
And then wind circled the room
picking up
the jingle of anklets worn by palace maids;
it picked up their giggles
over the Queen’s preparations
while waiting for her King.
And I could hear their
whispered marvels
at the jewellery the Queen wore.
Their awe when she picked up
the earrings
she always wore for His Majesty.
The earrings carved with filigree
so that sunlight could pass through them
like it does
through the branches of a tree.
When I come back
to the place where I stand
in front of the glass window,
I think of the day
you bought those earrings for me.
And in an instant, I became
your Queen.

***
You asked why I wasn’t wearing them.
I looked away
and walked out of our house.
I kept them in the drawer;
later, I couldn’t find them.
That’s why I didn’t wear the earrings.
And that’s why I don’t wear
jewellery any more.