There is no space small enough
To contain her in this glass house.
So she crafts a chrysalis out of
Her own skin to fold into: an embryo
Crouched on the velvety floor.
But it does not make her less
Transparent. Like the rose
Shedding its drying petals, she too
Will ripen. Layers of her snake-skin will peel
Open to burst into this dazzling creature
With no protection at all
And no place to hide.
~ Saleem Peeradina
Saleem Peeradina is the author of ‘First Offence’ (Newground, 1980), ‘Group Portrait’ (OUP, 1992), ‘Meditations on Desire’ (Ridgeway Press, 2003), and ‘Slow Dance’ (Ridgeway Press, 2010). He edited ‘Contemporary Indian Poetry in English’ (Macmillan, 1972), one of the earliest and most widely used texts in courses on South Asian literature. ‘The Ocean in My Yard’, a prose memoir of growing up in Bombay, was published by Penguin Books, in 2005. His latest collection is ‘Final Cut’ (Valley Press, 2016).