#40. Kashiana Singh

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Chittrakatha - last night with her at the care ward

I have it down to a science

but they say it is an art too

I have been shaping


from my lips to yours my eyes are waterfalls

they travel into yours

that night, I had brought

your favorite books along

you preferred silence, your

fingers encasing my spine

they knew each vertebra, its code

I wipe you down, cooling your fever

reminding you about

your tinctured tongue– sharp and electric how my words

have spent centuries

inside your spinal fluid


by syllable


stubborn stories from my atlas to your axis


I grasp at your iris, the fish floating

inside them, they mist over

for one last time, as if to sip

at the full bellied cry

that is rising in me,

your pulse gripping my fingertips

as I listen to your errant beating

at Erb’s point—

         lub dub

         lub dub

         lub dub

perfect punctuations

a dancing wind chime

I cover your absent face

with one porous poem

the final one, an obituary

written by your bedside

I let it unfurl, like a new born leaf

it bleeds a hibiscus into your veins

as they calcify, I braid your hair

        and as they get ready with a checklist

        I sterilize my hands with your stillness


  1. Chitrakathachitra meaning picture and katha meaning story. 

Chitrakatha is the Indian cultural tradition of women narrating stories with a visual aid. 

Forbidden fruits


an edible canopy of

fiery blossoms


fallen mangoes…

I bottled my pickles

before quarantine


last summer –

an aromatic sherbet

of alphonso juice


forbidden fruits…

maa slices mangoes

for me on zoom



lost cities

What will we do to not become cities

ravaged by war, a troy fallen to greeks

meteorological omens, all doubts cast

away with the rising of a blood moon

one conquering, another falling, the

moon rising against the wall of minds

an eclipsed sky


What will we do to not become cities

eclipsed by prophetic moons, where

God’s or Goddesses stare helplessly

when we march towards armies only

to bring home dismantled suns and

lunar lit chants


What will we do to not become cities

humming of oceans, lashed sleepless

by the hollowed tide, her water bed

lays wrinkled, its furrows blooming

with final moon flowers, as we tread

sdrawkcab                    backwards

     like our dead

Kashiana Singh lives in Chicago and embodies her TEDx talk theme of Work as Worship into her everyday. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. Her chapbook Crushed Anthills is a journey through 10 cities – a complex maze of remembrances to unravel. Her poems have been published on various platforms including Rattle Poetry, Poets Reading the News, Visual Verse, Oddball Magazine, Café Dissensus. She serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Poets Reading the News.


Kashiana carries her various geographical homes within her poetry.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anju Makhija

    Very moving…

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