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Two Poems

by Binx R. Perino

Draupadi’s Oath

                              I’m pulled 
              near nakedness 
                             by men, lip-licking 

              and thigh-rubbing, 
                             their hunger raw 
              summer odor of monsoon, 

                             unearthed grass root.
                                               I grind shame,
                             like cardamom, down

                                               in my mortar mouth,
                                                                 teeth clenched tight.
                                               In a silent prayer,

                                                                 my sari becomes endless:
                                                                                    a river pouring 
                                                                 emerald from the temple, 

                                                                                    sacred hips.
                                                                 Jackals sing omens, 
                                                warning days

                                                                 these men will see 
                                                                                     me again, their eyes
                                                                 closed, bodies open.

                                                                                     Their blood
                                                                 on my pestle fingers,
                                                                                      I will twist the length 

                                                                 of my hair 
                                                 into a braid, 
                                                                 paint it shining saffron.


I bring a man in
my apartment. He sees
the vibrator I left
by the sink, says it’s hot
that I grind clit
and hand. After I fuck
him, we never speak
again. I throw myself
on the floor of my car
to bathe in spilled
sour wine. I stitch
crumpled receipts
into a skirt too short.
I hunt in a bar,
lusting bodies. Broken
glass cuts my bare heels.
I bleed on every block,
tree, and church. I want
to fuck the God
I’m supposed to fear.
I eat the moon,
then stars. I scoop
and shove them
in my mouth, burn
my tongue on their cores.
It’s hot that I swallow
myself whole.

Binx R. Perino

About Binx R. Perino

Binx R. Perino, a poet from Texas, is pursuing their MFA at Emerson College in Boston. Their work can be found in Rathalla Review, Cypress, Euphony, GASHER, and elsewhere.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.