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A Thousand Signs

A poem by Ishani Synghal

By Literature

Photo by Ishani Synghal

language of fruit: you pick the fruit from my body i grow for myself and eat them as you watch

me starve and i let you pluck the pomegranate seeds from my eyes i grow for myself and eat

them as you watch me starve and i let you hoard the gooey mangos from my belly i grow for

myself and eat them as you watch me starve i let you snatch the sweetest lemons from my thigh i

grow for myself and eat them as you watch me starve i let you i let you rip and eat the taut

tangerines from my back as you watch me starve from my hair you yank the freshly ripe grapes i

grow for myself and eat them as you watch me starve the persimmons i grow for myself wrench

from my hips eat them as you watch me starve because i let you i let you eat the softest lichi i

grow for myself you jerk out of my lungs as you watch me starve i let you watch me starve as you

cut the mouth-watering papaya from my breasts i grow for myself and eat them watch me starve

as you twist the juicy dripping guava from my lips i grow for myself and eat them i let you watch

me as i chant

it’s strange to find gods in currency of flesh it’s strange to find gods in prayer it’s strange to

find gods in man-ufactured tissue it’s strange to find gods in eyelashes of the dead it’s strange

in seatbelts in the blood trees gorge on in the small of your back the root glint of your eye

the blue of it grays in your hair green stop signs mismatched desires red bellies of bricks the

soft creases of brown paper bags in my hands on myself the flexing rivers of thighs magenta

cavities of bruises breasts of love on the sagging shoulders of strangers in dirt underneath

fabricated fingernails the demand of ashy skin on the ground inversions of what may be

maybe

the border [orange] blues goes something like this: the blues birds must sing who can not fly but

still have wings left behind as their brothers sisters mothers fathers take flight cousins

carrying an echo of sound through undulating waters of lights you croon a melancholy melody:

i know things won’t be the same i know things won’t be the same because you get to escape

the flames a line scratched out by the talons of eagles as they take take take take eat

grin claws in their mouth shining pearly lines of constant confessions lies by omission creating

scorched burial grounds a mirroring a minor chord picking at the keys strings to help your back

bend forward curve forehead to toes anjaan anjaan azadi anjaan pardesi lost following

these strings exotic no heartbroken in search perpetually arbitrary a manila envelope that she

carries to the desk when her name is called confused for a moment because they call her by her

new last name inside: originals only of all documentation: both sides of her alien registration

card a screeching green: me

me who is. she who says i follow you restless, hunting imagined red plush of empty chairs

hard cold arms leaky boundaries that begin in the black cast of the white screen

a sigh

the sixth act when the offstage dead return for their final bows

memories that may have loved me once a love

a love like no other in your face i see-k deathly full lips and silky hair how i thirst for

thee dark listening to dark beauty listening to beauty as i kneel there

wondering fearing doubting deep into that darkness peering but for only a

moment more i promise dreaming—no daring to dream dreams in thy

darkness i sit so darkness i become

 

Featuring lines from carl sandberg’s poem “moonset poem” and Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “the raven”

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