This story is paired with “Second Epoch, The Story Continued by Eliza Michelson” from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free. 

When did you get those shiny big earrings?
When I got married.

When did you get those colorful bangles?
When I got married.

And that partially used sindoor (vermilion) case?
When I got married.

And those plain white sarees, when did you get those?
I didn’t choose them.
They were given to me.
By everyone else.

When I became a widow.

NBR7BakshismallPrerna Bakshi is a Macao based poet of Indian origin. Her work has previously been published in over two dozen journals and magazines, most recently in Grey Sparrow Journal, Silver Birch Press, Wilderness House Literary Review and South Asian Ensemble: A Canadian Quarterly of Literature, Arts and Culture. She tweets at @bprerna