Poems: Scherezade Siobhan

West Indian land crabs.

in the small country of snow owls

we have learned to share our ghosts; a moon dripping its coconut milk anemia, the iridium of bottled bone marrow, a cemetery of half-buried baby teeth.

the crows knit their wings into a sailcloth and the once platinum sky is now a purple iris turning darker than the bitumen black of my depression. the anglo-hungarian is reading to me in spanish. a song of salt & scars. his sun in the water is the single floating bead of a torn tibetan rosary.

seed & perdition. come adrift. come, float & hover.

this is not easy. i am thinking of the pellicle of blood rusting in the root of this thumb. i am thinking about rice and eggs. i am thinking of a lake turning into a junkyard of cars crushed into brittle coins. i am thinking of the distance between exorcism & evacuation – a room i can un-enter. a room that can unlock me.

on the phone, i can hear footsteps chanting above your head in their glottal parroting of a hurricane. i want you to sleep. you just want me.

in sleep, we want each other. in sleep of other is a want. as anonymous as a war orphan.

any day with you is flawlessly ambidextrous. a miracle child picked up and taken to an observatory. a prodigy of stumbling pawns. a child made of prognosis & prescription pills.

the amerik trying to learn my name in his slug-speech. my name is a rhizome for zahir. my name is the kind of grace that takes light to folded corners of a cold mouth. my name is ciudad de las rosas olvidadas. my name is green with the psychology of petals. my name is how your whole body shudders like a loud book under the library’s colonial fan.

i am wearing you through the night; a wedding dress with a missing zipper. ivory lace cutting its lip on red wine. wet, coming apart.

oh yes, the havoc of these chintzy fogs. your mind turns radioactive with the colour of chimeras. an atomic furnace. an abandoned factory where they set up kangaroo courts. the sunburned skin of walls smudged with solar lentigo. in therapy i recognize that any medicine is always grey with the filth of facelessness. the disease is always the pale pink sunset of a teenage romance.

let me remind you who you were before the violence, before the deer with its heart still warm amid the grains. your hands of brahma. you have made enough streets into beds. this you, this particle of god, this museum of muscle & myth. come, be again.

montserrat or maine or a himalayan basecamp. a tea terrace in darjeeling. i am kissing you as men with safety helmets are dangled into coal shafts. there will be no forgetting how dust swirled in the mountain air like an animal’s scent. there will be no fear of hunger or home.

this is the world between us – pregnant with gravity; emptied & beginning.

genres of prey

i am a diabetic who hasn’t eaten for 10 hours. it is a transfusion of numbness like carbon monoxide nuzzling each skinny nerve.

in an afternoon asphyxiating on its own sinuses, i am wooing the mongrels sleeping in each of my fingerbones; each drugged cur, all the canker & cuss.

the body can become a cannibal to itself. eat each organ with a gourmet splendour.

the stomach opens up like a venus flytrap – catholic in its welcome; appetite is the distance between ache & amen.

half my lineage haunts me with its orthodox hymnals. here are the raven-feathered words – a row of roma gypsy women; mantilla & cigarrillo. andalucian hands poised with the javelin of a golden cross.

on the entresol of a thigh, i riddle a safety pin to test the failure of feeling. no rats marooned in this goose grass. no friction in the crinoline.

– my blood has been hushed into a blackout.

this year, i forgot my father’s death anniversary. my god is two decades of guilt. there is no right way to remember so i droop my inklings in an underbelly of fugue states.

love leaves me open like a hammer punishing a stubborn crabshell. how do you convince yourself that all these broken dice, all this dulcitude, this split-sweet meat will find a mouth to melt into?

who can question the authenticity of pain? who can debate these darkrooms, this body trembling in a bathtub like a crimsoned tapir?

i know there are pastel dusks. i know this when my ear reads the air for its radio silence.

in an aeonian nightmare, i struggle with losing my toes. i already miss digging them into the café au lait drag of bombay’s matte sand. i caved for water. i undid the eruptions, the anchors, the insolvency.

i hunt for untranslatable phrases in my native languages so i can tell you something about love & language. urdu has many different ways to pronounce loss.

the room grows warm with my fever; i am kiln, i am brick. a cut apple sent to rust. only clay & bone.

from a train, i see a colony of conifers speaking to me in a deft sign language. each tree is as a glossarist. i can sense the wind, now mute with meaning.

to write in english feels like dancing on landmines. at point, my limbs will rant their straits like a flicker of confetti.

today i felt microscopic; so diminutive that anything could trample me without regret.

home but no direct flights. home but doesn’t dot itself on a google map. home but the moth-eaten arthritis of a beautiful pergola. home but a fistful of placebo. home but everyone is gone. home but keep on walking into the river.

depression is a long game of hide and seek where you hid in the attic & they quickly sold the house.

a schizophrenic once told me – i had no one to go to so i made enough people out of myself and now i never run out of togetherness. & then we say fractured, flawed, full – as if there were a key to open the many rooms of loneliness.

his diagnosis is information not knowledge. how many times do i need to apologize for wanting to cradle the wet, wounded bodies of small birds?

we’ve come here. we must want something. what?

to be readied without hurry.
to be hoped into.
to be hungered for.
Scherezade Siobhan is a psychologist, writer, and maker of the world’s finest Spanish omelettes. Her writing has been published in The NewerYork, Black & Blue Writing, Cordite Poetry Review, and Fur-Linedghettos. She is the editor of Cyberhex Press and the author of Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015).

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