Kashiana Singh (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: Kashiana Singh is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. Her poems have been published on various platforms including Poets Reading the News, Visual Verse, Oddball Magazine, TurnPike Magazine, Dissident Voice, Feminine Collective, Spillwords, Poetry Super Highway. You can listen to her reciting her work on Rattle Open Mic sessions, Songs of Selah podcast and Poetry Super Highway episodes. Kashiana lives in Chicago and carries her various geographical homes within her poetry.

Love in the foyer

The shimmering zest of your skin
Rubs into mine like a secret sin
An oblique glance at the kindred
Sun, liquid as it slips into the sea
I eat at the salt of my grainy dreams
Scale by scale by scale, my slithering
Mornings awaken to your listless ocean
Drop by drop by drop, flapping/pulsating
My tail draws death from your liquid oils
A manna, bleeding red into my reefs
My pores absorbing into their savannah
Your luscious color, you gather my rage
And become an altar-piece of plenitude
To the confetti of our petulant silence

As it stays —
stubborn, trembling at the lonesome
foyer of our stalled still afternoons

dormant rituals 

when the world
is better, less bitter
we will inherit again
migrate again
unsettle again

we will stand
tall, look each
in the eye,
non posturing,
we will be
in our language
again, phrases
poetry, words
not sanctified
we will begin
again, with
our shoulders
in hope
will steer us
we will migrate
and unmigrate

what is
is         ritual
is         practice
near     perfect
things like
dressing the
dead, smiling
bullets in
of grocery
cracking eggs
in equal halves
hiding stains
spilling guts
neatly inside
paper bags,

we will migrate
and unmigrate
without insult

the ritual
of being

they say time heals

in aggregation it does but there are those
individual moments or significant memories
that sneak their way through
your pores every once in a while

and ever since you left, you arrive
in many such minutes that rise and fall
through me—

your bellowing laughter, your
sufi music, recasts itself often, then
the pendulum’s tick tock, whirring of cars, are an inept
distraction. every so often, you escape a laugh
straight into my ears, it is irritating

oozing chicken patty crumbs, you insistently
left scattered, around your plate
on purpose of course—
crumbs in stories
always lead
to a dead end

your presence, sharp and photogenic
that fugitive charm of yours, bright
like confetti—
those days, there were
no apple phones
you would have made
such a good capture

your hand as it lingered around the dog’s neck
her clipped hair black, bleak, bristling
as if aware of what was to come, soon
they say
dogs know, before
humans of what is
to be

and then there were always your shoes
those sneaker shops that line the malls
you never learned to tie your fraying laces
those shoes
do remind me
each time of

every step, your stride always had a dance
like quality, sure-footed like the horses
you rode, a pretended diligence in
your straight face
encountered life
imagining what
could be


  1. Beautiful work, especially love the first one. Excellent and concise description of details, fine word choice, and choice of subject matter and presentation are wonderful.

  2. Your read matters a lot to me and your point of view even more, thank you for both and glad they resonated with you


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