Two poems

By Kashiana Singh

Scars

I let them be, as reminders
of your futility, how you often hurl
things at the sharp angles of my lissome body
and sometimes, the things you throw catch at my life
like bullets dodge themselves into blood vessels causing
them to bleed into lusty, loud screams of warm deaths —
you continue to play
a game of hell and paradise
unperturbed, as
I shed my scars.

Steps to make a Home

Step 1:
Choose your must haves
Select the significant morning rules, and other not so
significant ones —
         who will be allowed to sulk the most
         write down the laundry pile sorting norms on one of those
         neon yellow post it notes
         you will hang it like a grumpy reminder on the basement door
Make a sequence plan about who gets the first chance to roll onto the couch
like a tender cotton ball, and under what circumstances is that okay
Make sure to mention that members of this home must be willing to learn
that is a must have —
Start with the recipe for fried fish that drowns
the house in a season
of sea scents
rosemary, lime and rain
Will the carpets of this home be stain proofed
against patterns of identities?

Step 2:
Write down the rules for this home’s
expected poetic experiences—
         Syllables, playing in conversations as the fire crackles
         Fusion, at the table as lego blocks build walls
         then unbuild them
         Fingers, weaving parts of a song into a banquet of sunshine
         Heads, nodding in delight as the detergent swirls in dishwasher drums
         Games, of words and rhymes penciled on cutting boards of grainy minds
         Translations of prayers from lips of elders to angel wings for a child

Rules
about being brief at arguments, not carrying weight into the night.

Step 3:
Next, create compensation for smallness of space
by being efficient
Go on to allocate sections of storage places –
drawers, closets, shelves
to unapologetic aesthetics
For example —
build a shelf or
maybe two of
carved walnut
dedicated only to works of audacious voices
that are not same in color, sexual preference
or political orientation
as those who will live in this home nor
sound anything like those who shall sit at the thanksgiving table
or around bonfires of this hearth
Go on then to fill up a drawer with unconstrained tools of access
to places
like libraries and museums
and noisy places
where people eat food that will not get cooked
in the kitchen of this home
Remember to dedicate a closet for garments
that belong to ancestors —
yours, theirs, others.
So that this dwelling can learn
that breath of a home is just
a praise song, that homes are
voices of ghosts, of those who
lived before and homes only
exist to usher those that will
come after.

Kashiana Singh 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 is a journey that unravels memory through 10 cities. Kashiana currently serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Poets Reading the News and her poems can be read and heard on various platforms. Kashiana lives in Chicago and carries her various geographical homes within her poetry.

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