Scherezade Siobhan OH Competition

Scherezade Siobhan

Open House Competition 2019: Winning poem

Silsila (Untranslatable, In continuation)

We leave home for a place where beauty is
more than an accident between a tree & its season.

The road’s curfew breathes still
in the midnight of black damar.

My body: bottled hibiscus tea
His body: kettle-warmth

Mine, the lineal mezrāb.
His, a latent shayari.

A bird dissolves into its own image,
each wing limned to a wave;

a smallness that invents
a sea from empty space.

—prayer as agate. wave as heron.

In this water, the blue of bombed mosques,
letters adrift as if the snowed sleep of new

foxes. Aubade of husked epiphanies. A sun
reversed when light is a mere gasp—

& we discern
the alphabet as bazm-e-anjum;

a jubilance of stars. A peregrination of
Tibetan larks chorusing like glass bangles.

Still, home is an absence that leaves
bite-marks all over an animal’s body.

We confuse movement for position,

hollow for field. Trace dusk along
the veins of papier-mâché prayers—

a diligent loneliness, a rich passivity.
Single malts with the porch-cicadas

where everything is an Always
spelled without a You or an I.

Then the dark in its noisy cleaving,
on repeat: to love us must be secheresse.

“a rich passivity”- from a quote by Clarice Lispector

Scherezade Siobhan is a psychologist, writer, educator and a community catalyst who founded and runs The Talking Compass — a therapeutic space dedicated to providing counseling services and decolonizing mental health care. She is an award-winning author and poet whose work is published or forthocming in Huffington Post, VICE, Medium, Berfrois, Quint, Feministing, Jubilat, DIAGRAM, Entropy, Cordite among others. She is the author of Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband (Salopress, 2016) and The Bluest Kali (Lithic Press, 2018) as well as a tutor with The Poetry School, UK. Find her @zaharaesque on twitter. Send her chocolates and puppies — or @zaharaesque on Twitter/Instagram.