It is twelve years since I first put on
these bangles. Circles
of yellow Indian gold,
they bruised the bones of my hand
as I pulled them on.
I sleep in them: my husband
can tell my mood
from the sound of my bangles
in the dark.

No ornaments, they are
like hair or fingernails part
of my body.
One has a raised design
or spell. The other
is plain, and dented
by my children's teeth.

Daughter, on your wedding day
I will put golden bangles
on your wrists. Gold
to keep you from want
in strangers' houses, and
for beauty: lying down naked
as on the night you were born,
you shall wear upon your dark skin
gold from this distant country
of your birth.