Shinjini Bhattacharjee's poems have been published, or are forthcoming in Journal
of Compressed Creative Arts, Gone Lawn, Rose Red Review, wherewithal, Red Paint
Hills Poetry, Literary Orphans and elsewhere. She is also the founding editor of
Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal and Hermeneutic Chaos Press.
Recipe to help sunlight fit neatly inside the cobweb full of reflections of the corner of a kitchen wall
First, measure the density of the skin that forms around an unused coffee mug. Then, light a fire familiar with the motions of burying on the gas stove. Heat a saucepan over it. Add 3 tbsp. of oil that can effectively sigh its way through a determined throat. Ensure that its temperature doesn't rise above the quality of your breath. When the oil begins to simmer, add aniseed, cardamom and pepper, each brushed on the cover of love notes. Don't be scared of their heads, old and complete with good weather. Add herbs chiseled with the premonitions of a butterfly. Now, stir them till they begin to descend inside the importance of the sun's pinpoint in the pan. Note how they build themselves up over small deaths, scissored and prayered seven times a day. Note how the window echoes your skin fractured with veins. When the mixture wants to drip along the length of the fingers, let it lamp your lungs. When the ingredients become tired of the ladle's slippery lessening and begin to fast, question the genes their mouths forgave. In Texas, lives move through subtracted floorboards and bruised birthday trees, and therefore, it is essential to make the plates porous by smashing them into exactly 51/2 pieces. Sit and observe the sky whispering its brackets to them. For an effective seasoning, take out a string from your bag and tie your feet tightly to the dish. Spin around thrice till it begins to grow with you. You grow and grow before the garden remembers.
On Tuesdays, I follow the pockmarks on your vertebra
because they pool in the metaphors the bones make with the moon. Maybe this is death—entering the house and falling apart. Sharpening the air on the floor, their love notes drawn too deep. Out in the backyard, the plastic sky shatters in the water with a solitary bird. We deck the trees with thickenings of muscular psalm inside us. The strange thing about morning is that it can also capture the wings of a cicada. Or that our faces can also fall on the grass instead of feet, taking their ages in. The anthills continue to stretch the non-magic inside them. Nobody can curdle shadows with salt for long. We sit with the earth, trying to slice the unhappy for the last thing to burn.
Before the Emptying
Sometimes, a cell stretches a bit too much in defiance. When I sift funerals in my throat, I question the different pronunciations of oblivion. You rustle a red pulse to oxidize the heart and spine swinging behind the dress that pretends to pull the moon. On the edge of the lake, the living veins mend the ring around the trees. Their interiors thicken, leaving behind the heat that trembles with the loneliness of my edges. Listen, there is something to sacrifice to the woods, and we have to hang by our feet to pray for one shadowed square. The actual light will always be silly and good, even when you part my eyelids. Name a little extinguisher. Name anything.
After leaving the countryside brown
Morning hatches in the starlight I am fixing for the cicadas. We love to play with the thinness of wood in the absence of a goat's mouth. Inside are private crayons that break into smears and adapt to their gathering against the blood. Outside, the deer can never come to terms with the shape of its smile on the window. Before we pause, there is quick ripping of leaves and staccato desert lights. The clothes in the closet dig into my skin to beg for a new language. The palm waits between the Bible and birth stained utensils, waiting for one to alter nothing.
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