Two poems

    By Kashiana Singh


    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

    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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