Poetry: Immolation in Pastels by Kristin Garth

Immolation in Pastels 
for Parineeta, a woman who survived
burning in a pastel house in Jawan,
India in 2014 because she wanted to
run her own beauty salon 
They set you aflame in the pastel house. 
where you reside after marriage vows. Your 
in-laws conspiring with your own spouse
to douse kerosene, defend the endangered 
devout with suicidal stories they 
all tell the same. You are not the first bride 
in this house to be ignited this way.
You do not even know the reasons why 
your predecessor was punished by flame —
only that twenty years prior she died
unlike you who survive, if not quite the same
woman bequeathed a beauty salon.
Better to forget a dream that has gone.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of over 20 books of poetry including Crow Carriage (Sweet Tooth Story Books) and The Stakes (Really Serious Literature) and the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal.