i wish my father could see the left of my face, burning
when my mother asked me to offer my neck as a sacrifice,
our mother tells me, that’s how you hold your head high.
i open my hands and lay them above fire,
& pray that my hands are a hearth before they’re blue.
fire gives life to legends and dead. & i can almost hear
my cheeks speak to me in tongue of three birds.
the first bird only died when i had spoken of a dark room,
these windows made of dust and grandma.
the only way out is through sounds that run through
ashes, soft pattering, golden- rising and musk,
over this house that casts a shabby room built inside
elegies of our grandchildren. must guns be obituaries.
that is when i want to hold your hand & overflow
with translations for a children’s story we’ll never get
to read. i tell you & father, i love this shadow that dances in
ocean and opens its mouth in my mouth for a bird to leave.
i whisk hands in blue, above my head sacrificed,
as if baking a cake in thin air, for a bird we both chew,
and this is my arm & this is my head, an extension of sorts.
i know this because when i held my head last night,
the horse told me how it was at the barn, but i was not
listening. i fear i came down the nest without wings, hastened,
and my spine is too bent to understand, when my
neck almost gave away. someday, i’ll learn to love
myself, till then i’ll wait. i know the ocean between my
legs is singing my childhood wrapped inside an earthen
By Tanya Singh
Tanya Singh is a poet from Chandigarh, India. Their work has appeared in Gone Lawn, Eunoia Review, Polyphony H.S, and elsewhere, and has been recognized by Times of India and The Great Indian Literary Festival, among other places. They are the founder & editor-in-chief of The Cerurove. They think they are nine cups of magic magpies who live inside a doe-eyed teapot with a hole, and dream, the size of a universe.