Kashiana Singh (Western Voices 2023)

Bio: Kashiana Singh (http://www.kashianasingh.com/) strives to embody the essence of her TEDx talk - Work as Worship into her everyday life. Her chapbook, Crushed Anthills from Yavanika Press in 2020 is a journey that unravels memory through 10 cities. Her latest full-length collection, Woman by the Door was released in Feb 2022 with Apprentice House Press. Kashiana lives in North Carolina and carries her various geopolitical homes within her poetry. Her poems have been published on Rattle, Poets Reading the News, North Dakota Qtrly, and Beltway Poetry, amongst others.

The poem that is mother and child

Nevertheless, a poem is a poem, it works
itself into the ears of a six-month-old like
wild geese following the softest parts of
their bodies, heading home with a focus
his eyes crinkled tight, concentrating on
a gleaming flashback of prior births, also
on warm swollen breasts of new mother
tiny hands disappearing into their fullness
her heart brimming over with every single
tear that drops on his cheek, inviting her
into the poems that form like an ache, he
yawns, stretches or twitches in a wrinkled
skin, tiniest movements entry points into
raw verse, crinkled eyes older than the old
witness to perfect paradigm of being alive
an orchestra of the sky whispers invincible
marginalia of light into his unwieldy torso
he squints back at the moon, its stumbling 
streaks falling upon her braided bun, erect
cross legged, she gathers her mood and his
puckered lips, sipping at warm water, taste
of rust, as it infuses senses, fennel, & cumin

before death

curled caterpillar
the quivering ocean between us
solitary star
you trace maps on a moonless sky
delirious morning 
unwrapping one flattened breast

waning moon
dissipating seconds in final breaths
a buzzing congregation of mourners
mourning doves
the trembling voice of goodbyes

Field notes

behind bars
the immigration officer
a screeching bat

waxing moon
patterned shadows
on your face

in obeisance
folding my back
ancestral voices

punctured sky
our statistics buried 
in perfect shrouds


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