Scherezade Siobhan


Each hiccup is hindsight      Breath          tossed out
in spasms of trickled trout             Did you imagine

your lungs    meat-totes drooling tar      Bombay
blasted from       its loaded nightjar        You inherit

a country just        like an addiction      shifting to your
veins before you       could learn             how to trench

your blood      The gardened swarm       red valerian
flecking sorceries of hoverflies           My grandfather’s

shadow bent            over some logic                 or ledger
in stony devotion    Light engraving           on his kurta

the tiny joys        of ashoka buds                 When I say
contain             do I mean to shelter           or to shut in?

The books were auctioned off                    to a besotted
truss of votarists               My mother        brought back

the cushion covers embroidered           by cattle-breeders
Never to use    only to touch      on certain damp evenings     

when     the air would explode   in histrionics of a thousand
wings      Little pieties of Light      Emeralds To lose is

always       a euphemism for being          stranded or stilled
in the middle of a memory                that will     not concede

to any        obedience of closure                 or continuities




When Q died, the debris refused
any further diagnosis. I am Afghan  
only when rug or opium. What count
-ry can be smoked into a signal-fire?
Praise be to the kabuliwallah, baby
alligator skins shirting chubby melons,
grandmotherly lapis flirting with new
cleavage. A hundred years will root
in a bed of brave turnips planted to
salt away a porch-full of daughters.
Empire red on our tongues, the goat
profaned to loiter before buzkashi.
The blue wave of Her veil stammering in
the clutch of a deep gust like a tired flag.
Next to her, a boy the size of a birthday
candle. Shoeless feet, cognac-tinseled
eyes. De veritatibus primis, hymned the
lapidary. There must be peace in knowing
that you can cut life from the grey mood of
any stone. The day after the first drone, his
body emptied the final palate of its dreams
in a dugout of blood-complexioned rocks.
Everything that is possible demands to exist.


In General Theory of Victims, François Laruelle asks: “[W]ho deserves to arise, who is able to?”

Suppose this thing we won’t name is just the patient magic of nymphing for trouts—the angler lured in mid-tongue & the rest of its body leaving water like a ghazal of light.

Mine was a swift terror—a slippery amphibian in its practical spacing. Grew gills in the bathtub, flexed limbs in the bed. On some afternoons, it was a clique of wire-hangers asking to be unshaped, straightened into a quicker consequence.

In whichever tasteless city he threatened to abandon me throughout the trip, I often did find at least one animal of unashamed flaunting. Some thin leak of sulfur blurring the pelt of roads.

Propped against a harem of pillows, negotiating with the bone spur to pull back some of its flames from my spine, I burrow into a pdf about fibromyalgia. Differential diagnosis. Meaning your pain labours under a pseudonym. Meaning something is hunting you from within with a wolfpack of newly readied teeth.

Scherezade Siobhan is a psychologist, community catalyst, and a writer. She is the author of three books—Bone Tongue (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), Father, Husband, (Salopress UK), & The Bluest Kali (Lithic Press, 2018). She is the creator and curator of The Mira Project, a global dialogue on women’s mental health, gendered violence, and street harassment. She is the founder and Chief Therapist at The Talking Compass—a therapeutic practice created to provide affordable mental health help for people. She can be found squeeing about militant bunnies at @zaharaesque on twitter/fb/IG and at her website.