Kashiana Singh (Western Voices 2022)

Bio: Kashiana Singh (http://www.kashianasingh.com/) calls herself a work practitioner and embodies the essence of her TEDx talk - Work as Worship into her everyday. Her chapbook Crushed Anthills from Yavanika Press in 2020 is a journey that unravels memory through 10 cities. She proudly serves as a Managing Editor for Poets Reading the News and her voice can be read and heard on various international platforms. Kashiana’s first poetry collection is called, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words. Her newest full-length collection, Woman by the Door has just been released with Apprentice House Press. Kashiana lives in North Carolina and carries her various geopolitical homes within her poetry.

Poem on the birthing table


Tell me about that moment
when a woman’s gaze shifts
inwards towards the mellow
tenderness of her ripe navel.

Tell me about the moment

when a woman wonders if

she will ever look outwards

into a mirror, continuation.

 

Tell me about the colorless

skin of water in which a life

nests

to

life.

 

Tell me about the erupting of

lava from wombs, a volcano

throbbing

to

life.

 

Tell me about the presence

unknown, urging to dislodge

dawn

to

life.

 

Tell me about stretched flesh
that anchors an unborn monk

within her innards, rising rising

swelling inside her, transition to

eternity.

 

Tell me about unremarkable

beginnings, of the entry into

light from an abyss, a mouth

unzipped by the many hands

birthing.

***

 

Things that last

As the world catalogues

a nakedness, ugly in its

calloused skin, hardened

I catalogue feverishly, a

scraping of flesh to find

translucent memories. I

write of peripheries, the

pixel bytes released into

the x and y axis of maps

 

here is an airport lounge

walking in slow hiccups

here is another omitted temple

yoking its past and the present

here stands a lamp post

witness to careful streets

here is a patient bench

it stayed as people left

here is that snack stall

stains mapping a past

here is another auto shop

carelessly spilling grease

here is a wide-open door

its air hisses in holograms

            here is the eye of the storm

clenching tight on her teeth

here is an open notebook

unfolding sepia at edges

            here stands another intersection

            curving into a hunched sidewalk

here are these raging oceans

their ribs bloating into waves

            here is grass of green memories

            tickling the nose of a skilled dog

 

A paraphernalia of images

percolate my dreams, into

the born and unborn

some green and grey

stars and songs

wars and violins

earthworms

and earth

worms, who

beneath this

wilted earth

quiver along

***

 

Echoes

screams

his blistered skin

in orchestra

first bloom

the yellow settles

into ash heaps

tombstones

erupt into lanterns

falling skies

whirring dragonfly

another blast opens

new wounds

tiny fingerprints

on train windows

erasure

explosions

women holding skies

with blooming arms

an opaque sky

the ground swells

in chorus

Z ealously

foreshadowing

zeitgeist

forgiveness sunday

dreams exiled inside

bomb shelters

***


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