by Scherezade Siobhan

Barthes says – “a language is a corpus of prescriptions and habits []”

In the inverted braille of depression, an induction of breaches.
A mnemonic where you can touch the friction between speaking and meaning.

A whole body in a repeated grovel between its own locus and frontier.

On a bench staring at the audacity of new weed, I wonder about my body as a break in the
texture of abandonment. That day is a rumor, all its language merely the dark blaze of June
searing a field of grape hyacinths.

And now, your throat without its domestic contents, a minor arrangement– sutra, grammar,

Acedia, I read. [Somatic tergiversation] God is eternal in our tedium.

If I must live, shouldn’t it be in the shoulder grove of some ungovernable tenderness?

This mind doesn’t promise anything apart from an atonal temperature.

Bones hold onto their own programmed motion even after the mercury breaks.

X’s jaws still moving after the jump from the 14th floor balcony.

In grade 6 or 7, he explained to me that it was called potential energy–energy possessed by a
body on account of its position being relative to other objects around it.

There should be a word for a sparrow’s last arc of flight before its body crashes in a fatal
percussion against the damp glass.
In urdu: qurbat, قربت.

There should be a word for when blue goes from powder to midnight. From
sea to vein. From origin to eclipse.

How should we confirm the missingness of everything we haven’t ever been allowed to speak
into a shape?

On certain days, this city is a procession for a burial, a dervish of dust–nothing but the précis of
traffic; a desire to withdraw from the promise of eyes. An afternoon parked under the pillars of
an ongoing metro station’s construction. Two men in the outline of retired scarecrows, a rusted
tiffinbox in between. Some voice from my childhood screaming
If we were meant to eat meat, we would walk on four legs.
Hunger understands us in a way we choose not to.

The terminal end of a pipe–unattached–is called “daylight” in construction.

This street and its frozen wail– a tiredness ripe with the dread of ortolan buntings; memory of
the first time I heard of that opaque cruelty.

To know this body as a bird blinded into a perpetual night. To eat for torture not nurture.

At 7 am, I prepare for listening they will bring to me. Therapy, mapmaking, laundry.

The future is always in the passing. To assume preservation is naïve yet lucid.

In the meantime, the practice of wearing sneakers without laces, a distance from fish knives, an
algorithm for indifference.


About the Author:

Scherezade Siobhan is an Indo-Rroma social scientist, community catalyst and hack scribbler of two poetry collections: Bone, Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015) and Father, Husband (Salopress, 2016); and one poetry pamphlet, to dhikr, i (Pyramid Editions, 2017). She is the creator and curator of The Mira Project, a global, cross-cultural dialogue which uses expressive art and storytelling to dismantle gendered violence and street harassment. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Feministing, Berfrois, Rattle, DIAGRAM, Word Riot among other digital and print publications, anthologies, exhibitions, art galleries and sometimes even in the bios of okcupid users. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee for writing and can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at or @zaharaesque on twitter/fb.

Image by Neil Saunders via Flickr (cc).