Image: Lady Orlando

anam cara

i have the land of green plums
in my knapsack, baby names for wild heather

growing in a telescopic city
like bethlehem where water

& fire are sister wives
vestal twins

& the house i arson(ed)
sits with its ashtray mouthed

duende here
i will meet you


our bodies paradigm(ed)
to decussate

in the mother of all bomb
squad déja vu, the last

page of my diary
versant to the chant



– fear but the heart


is a qawwal knotted into the sphinx of a question
at the pebbled marble of an old mosque

whose carpet is salamandrine
whose country sleeps in a glass jar of pistachios

whose winter lingers, is deaf as a ghost,
is the ash blond map of a railway station

is dead from seeing, is the skull of
a museum dilated to a rice bowl

the first of all leaving
is from the song of self

the first of all leaving
is a prayer opening like a door

when he touches the oyster of an earlobe
pinked by breath incensed to phlogiston

that rises as smoke over salt mines
as pilgrims drink wolfbane &  malt liquor

then he will rise again as light
jettisons from the watchtowers

as the child soldiers saw their shotguns
amid the radio babel of missing boats

he will keep the stillness of this grief –
a muslin-bordered holy book

whose pages are never turned
because no one here is born

with hands

qawwal – a sufi singer


Scherezade Siobhan

Scherezade Siobhan is an Indo Rroma hack scribbler and social scientist. Her work has been featured, read, performed, danced and sung internationally - in art galleries, journals, rehab centres and bios of okcupid users. She is the author of Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband (Salopress, 2015) and to dhikr, i (Pyramid Editions, Forthcoming) and is the creator/curator of a global conversation on gendered violence and street harassment, The Mira Project.

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