Maya Mackrandilal

An Ethnography of White Men by the Goddess Kali


He took a drag from her cigarette
The trace of her lips on his
A species of intimacy
Devi speaks: I’m here to dismantle white supremacy


Stepping past his hockey gear in the hall
(placed like a defiant smirk)
The Goddess entered his room
Music playing from his laptop, he asked her a question

I don’t speak Spanish
She said (again)
Before removing his head, and adding it to the garland around her neck.

She left
Licking the blood from her fingertips
Rouging her lips


The dining hall was emptying out
The clink of dishes being washed by invisible workers
He said: We just have to wait for all the old people to die,
then racism won’t be an issue anymore.

Her knife sunk deep into his chest
He died in ecstasy
His blood bathing the floor
Staining her feet red as she danced.


The van idles by the curb
The night is still, trees looming up from behind houses—
Like witnesses.
Like threats.

The radio plays, but they don’t listen.
She sits, cupped like a stone in the seat
Thinking of all the bodies that have sat there before:
Their sweat seeping into the cushion
Their skin ground into the warp
Their desire
                       —a type of memory.

She says that the Tarkovsky film was fine, but all the mommy issues were a bit tiresome
Hurt, he says she is self-centered, myopic, unable to see it his way.

She bathes her hair with his blood in the moonlight
Before advancing into the dark.


The devotees come at her sideways
Full of flattery
Bright eyes and smiles
Never mind the claws
Never mind the teeth.

She says she is afraid she is being erased
Of being whited out
She fears for the memory of her ancestors
She fears for the bodies of her kin

They listen for a while, then say:
but, you look white

She made a skirt of their severed arms
And wove flowers into her hair.

Maya Mackrandilal

Maya Mackrandilal is a transdisciplinary artist and writer whose current work imagines radical futures for women of color solidarity and liberation. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was a recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. After spending eight years in Chicago, she relocated to Los Angeles in 2016. Her work has been shown nationally, including the Chicago Artist’s Coalition, THE MISSION, Monique Meloche Gallery, Aljira Contemporary Art Center, and Smack Mellon. Her essays have appeared in The New Inquiry, contemptorary, and MICE Magazine, among others. Her website is