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Two Poems by Scherezade Siobhan | Word Riot

August 22, 2016      

Two Poems by Scherezade Siobhan

totems for desi girls

we were born into a brass plate full of liturgy – tiny hymns
of cow ghee, camphor orbs, ears belled after coral hibiscus.

every movement was knotted to an instruction :
today do not thud the ooze of any acid-bellied lemons.

shirk the siren-song of scarlet-lipped chilies. circumvent
ladders. unpet the ebony fur of every athletic cat darting

through your suburban adolescence like a drunk cop’s
bullet. brown girlhood is a deftly sharpened modus operandi

to sap the dawning of fate. conchshell tenets of Saturday evening palmists
who combed through the ivory dust of our dead grandmothers tethered to

bovine musculatures. their timeworn sacs pregnant with phylactery.
our middle-class mothers cramming our middle

-class mouths with chants excavated from the
groins of jaundiced prayer books. anything

to stall our dowry deaths, sarees burning like flags
of bombed countries. anything. to avoid dragging

our bodies through the cooling tar like a steel pipe.
to not make a dollhouse from our own cutglass ribcages.

to forget that our bodies were both – talisman and prison.

girls with bodies pronounced like explicit quasars. girls with nails, a cloister of hyenas soliciting the ebony prairie out of its colonial pitfalls. girls with dreams paling to anemia. girls with aspens knitted into their fingerprints. girls with guns gardened beneath their tongues. girls with bellybuttons of peeled almonds. girls with breasts like an unspent molotov cocktail. girls with honeycomb hips; terra cotta urns pockmarked. girls with dignity the color of snow-kissed fossils.

girls gone bondage kawaii in the digital amphitheater.

girls with hair like graven wicker baskets.
girls with hair like a tonic of seaweed.
girls with hair like a hammered cassette tape.

girls who dipped their twilight in saké. girls who nibbled your earlobes as though it was smoked crabmeat. girls who turned your heart into a chessboard. girls who sped past you in the red-hot miasma of havana black markets. girls with veins beetling from the featherweight fabric of their skin like an arson of bass-lines. girls who play snakes and ladders with their bruises. girls hiding mirrors inside the shallow grave of the smallest starling. girls with bellies writhing as though a wasp’s nest.
girls deserted on an inter-state highway in an exile of cherry pits. girls teething against a campfire of daggers.
girls shattered into sibyls; a thin crust geometry guarding the mosaic. girls dying in matinee prints.
girls moving silently inside the shadow of a thread; a gray train speedballing on 5 layers of soi, dancing its junket of dust, pollinating the dusk.

zara44About the author:

Scherezade Siobhan, creator and curator of The Mira Project,is an Indo Rroma behavioural scientist and hack scribbler of 2 poetry collections – Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband (Salopress, 2015) and 1 poetry pamphlet – to dhikr, i (Pyramid Editions, Forthcoming). Her work has been translated into multiple languages and featured in anthologies, journals, art galleries, rehab centres and the bios of okcupid users. She can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at viperslang or @zaharaesque on twitter/facebook/ig.

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