a siren’s voice

by Ashvini Giridaran

i still struggle to reckon with the ways of your voice
its sound is a tumultuous wave,
which tides me under
water…bequeathing me beneath the bravado of
your spell…
chilled cognac is carefully concocted into my cola
prepared under the deafening roar of a summer suburban house party; collusion
is the mutual agreement between you and what the ‘ woman in me’ wants
what i want
is a balance, a sword, and a seat at my own table
not
the scarlett rose you pressed in my palm, whispering into my ear
nor the jewels you tied around my neck on my birthday; smile trained for the cameras
or the feeling of your sick body plastered over my own
amidst a basement celebration of youth+freedom
gone awry
your tone pulsates through my veins, words roaring in my ear
that i want this
i don’t
but you get want you want anyways
music stops, roses wilts, waves crash
i still struggle to reckon with the ways they whisper my suffering was “my choice”
yet you join the line of pitied men led astray by a siren’s voice