Image is detail from the main gopuram of the Sarangapani Temple in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
Girl From Kollathi
For the family
to gain religious merit
in the next life,
they fed the poor full of rice.
Then, when the girl from Kollathi
began to wash the dishes
in the back lot,
she was forced into intercourse.
After feeding on her
the Brahmin promised to come
in his next life, too.
She killed herself and
as the goddess of Kollangottu,
screaming for human sacrifice.
Lusting after women and gold,
he married the dancer with lies of love
then stoned her to death
amid the thorns
of the cactus fields.
You are my witnesses, she cried
to the cacti as she died.
The dark-blue goddess of the cactus fields
demands blood-filled rice,
transmogrifies into the midnight
This is a Tamil Dalit poem. The Tamil are the Tamil speaking peoples of south India. Dalit is the term for the untouchable casts of India. We found these poems on the web at /www.ou.edu/worldlit/onlinemagazine/SA2004/11608-15-May-_$B!D_(Bg%20SIVANARAYAN.pdf