We take two trains to reach the heart of a city cobbled from mica & folklore.
A city contorting into seizures, catatonic at the knees of a towering witch doctor.
A city with a blind crow trapped in its iris, its skyline scattered like a failed polygraph
test. We stop here – in this medulla of myth – till lightning is silvered into strands of hair
of my grandmother's hair. Her emerald studded jhumka miming a temple bell
I can smell a bleached sourness eulogizing over the beaten brass of the priest's plate.
It is a cornucopia of sandalwood sticks wombed inside the abdomens of marigolds.
A thread rhyming each mouth to the belly A longitude petaled by tangerine whorls
My thumbprint, translucent in the oil of oud, leaves little pugmarks at the altar.
Already the turmeric luster yellowing hymns tucked verbatim into the symmetry of Sanskrit.
To love in one language. To pray in another. To grow into a rope-bridge anchoring both.
So, the faithful slowly gather into golden boughs under the fevered furnace of an Indian summer.
Each with the ghost of an unworded loss still clinging to them – a trashcan stillborn, a phantom limb.
On rooftops, we leave trays filled with food, anointed, faultless for the auspices of afterlife.
Those who are gone will now return for this feast : each morsel shelling the husk of hunger.
I wait for my grandmother to descend, maybe with green-glossed plumage of a hillside myna.
I wait to see if she picks the mango clean to its seed. If the bread burdens the humble beak.
I wonder if there is a way to swallow the last of your fears till they render you fragile as a mirror.
I fall asleep at an hour where the cats rehearse to become werewolves & the eucalyptus sways
like an apparition with amnesia. When I wake up the clouds are cottoned, the bowls are cleaned
I sit, surrounded by an army of empty utensils. My fingers vermillion as the sun's tongue
My pulse reborn as a pause.
This is an education in how death is always plural.
This is how we best remember loss - by letting it eat its fill by feeding it till it forgives
Scherezade Siobhan is a Indo-Roma psychologist, writer and the maker of world's finest spanish omelettes. Her work has been published or is scheduled to appear in Queenmobs, The Nervous Breakdown, Electric Cereal, Potluck, Winter Tangerine, Fruita Pulp, tnYPress, DIAGRAM, Literary Orphans, and others. Her first poetry collection, Bone Tongue, was published by Thought Catalogue in 2015. Her full length poetry collection Father, Husband is scheduled for release in December 2015. She can be found squeeing about militant bunnies and neuroscience at www.viperslang.tumblr.com.