syzygy and Other Poems

By Kashiana Singh

syzygy

conjunction
a massacre visible
to the naked eye

just sunset
a stranded necklace
of planets

funeral parade
the sky gathers
its jewels

nothing remains
another astrologer
blames Saturn

War Stories

cheekbone to cheekbone
huddled together, debris
of death, stench of mold
incapacitating their hope

outside children mimic
gunshots, as frontlines
ricochet with trembling
clouds, ancestral echoes

its horizon is washed red
in stained velvet of blood
thump of bodies like white
noise to their muted deaf

she wraps her shelled desires
in a shawl, a pilgrim walking
towards another minefield of
stilted silence, latticed prayers

his splintered bones washed
away by slant rain, a bird call
unending flight, a newborn is
swaddled in morphined nights

The road that winds up

without stopping at the river rearranged
beneath my window, the road winds up
into the faceless distance, bending itself
at the edge of the clock tower, standing
stoic at the end of an unmoving south.
above the street, draperies hang upright
like funeral veils they cover the burden
of absent windows, smothering dreams
into forgetfulness behind stained glass.

a home is unstirred behind me, at rest
like just baked bread, it stays within its
walls, as if rehearsing its own aroma, a
raisin’ed crust swells in desire, waiting
to be sliced open, resolute in its casket.

outside, houses squat solemnly in rows
floors rising into unfamiliar skies, doors
hiding coldness behind stubborn stones.
looking out of my window, the river still
passes beneath the bridge, hugging itself

in consolation around bends.
here, blades of grass. ripple
against gnawed shores. sharp.
a pregnant dog births in spurts.
the hibiscus is a distracted monk.
a wailing breeze hustles, two geese
float into languid waters.
bubble eyed fish are motionless.
washing their unformed tears.
somewhere else the dead suckle.
at hope.
bodies are methodically stacked.
in bulging boxes.
clenched teeth, grinning inside.
soundless jaws.
skulls crumbling like cookies.
decomposing crematoriums.
neither here nor there.
grief in-between
living and dead
sputters, when touched.

When Kashiana is not writing, she lives to embody her TEDx talk theme of Work as Worship into her every day. Her chapbook Crushed Anthills by Yavanika Press is a journey through 10 cities. Her second full-length collection, Woman by the Door was released in 2022 with Apprentice House Press.

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