Four Poems by Kashiana Singh


after Sumana Roy
“and you’ll still say that biraha
is only the fourth dimension”

This day
is a magnificent ghost
that has swallowed
the extremities’
of living
into its
This day
is festooned like a train
across the alps, it is breezing past
in the opposite direction
This day shines into my face
like the glaring headlight streaming downwards
on a railroad track
moving through the tunnel
into darkness ahead
the deer leaving the swaying petticoat
of the forest one last time
This day
stands in situ
welding together memories of
your 18 unfinished years
This day
is also an erasure poem
the rest of your 18 years
This day
me about
how much
I miss you
This day
that beats
inside me
like your first rattle
like an arrhythmic heart


from stillness born, potent

fear stirs a skillet, spattering
the textures of opaque oils
skinless, a flame rises, air
possessed, choking throat
cumin splutters, chili flakes
cavort on the casement of
sulking skins, slow flinching
rising, a stirring inside wet
marrow, all fungus & alga

this fidgeting fear and urge
to banish it, it crawls into
the throbbing thymus, pale
salved beneath the sternum
bone, a dual-headed lichen
sometimes, sunshine sits in
wait, braided inside hairs of
overgrown knotweed. often
an exorcist thrashes at love
devils hiding in dilated eyes

fertile dread rises through
a frothy amygdala

Instructing a Yoga Class

Step outside this coquettish altar, a container
Lounge into yourself, lengthen long in spine
Ease your breath, let it unwind, in interludes
Let in every thought towards its navel center

You are gripping the sides of your own hide
Fingers clawing into the backs of your knees
Perhaps, you try to run the warmth of palms
Up and down your legs, torso in a balasana

Examine awkwardness of breath, it is a river
Imagine you are floating in the galaxy above
Allow every person in shavasna around you
To also rise, let them, become constellation

Find the craters, touch the hollows, gentle

Make space for the woman next to you too
Browse barefoot into the forest, soles wet
Follow the footprints of a mycorrhizal web

Then the instructor says, drop knees down
Allow this flesh to die, alone like when born
Swim beyond thoughts, float towards a ghat
Gasp as you arrive, a hush settling into tears


She lingered at the fringes of
her empty nest, tiny feathers
some grace left in place, this
when her baby died, pecking
at iridescent circles of breath
squawking louder than those
common coqui frog, feasting

I hear the pecking bird again
pecking at my window glass

I stammer in response to
my unstoppable heart, its
bruises a feathered pause
my grief a flourished sigh
holding an outstretched
hand, fingers gripping at
her beak, clicking, cluck
in mourning, I stay quiet

I peel at my crusted eyes
as magpie wings stutter
the dance of life, marvel
around the stone spot of
death, by habit, her flock
gathers, auditioning loud
for passerine’s song

I hear the pecking bird again
pecking at my window glass
she places some pulled grass
a wreath of denial inscribed
on the ringed grave, worship
is like lichen, circles of death
adorn the bodice of my town

Author Bio – 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 newest full-length collection, Woman by the Door was released in Feb 2022 with Apprentice House Press. Website – TEDx Talk – Books –