Building

By KANYA KANCHANA

“Raise high the roof beam, carpenters.
Like Ares comes the bridegroom,
taller far than a tall man.”
—Sappho

 

A brief architectural brief 

Give me 
a circle, a halo, a circumscription, 
a sphere of eleven dimensions, 
a list of lists,
a key. 

Give me 
a thunderstorm poncho, 
an endangered turtleshell, 
a backpack no heavier than 12 kilos, 
a cave. 

Give me 
a terrace of food, 
a garden of songs, 
a communal lovebowl, 
a lab. 

Give me 
the bones of mammals, 
their tendons and ligaments, 
their shrinkwrap of fascia, 
a ship. 

Give me
a compendium of excruciating minutiae, 
a harem of small kitchen appliances, 
a nest of mynahglitter, 
a web. 

Give me 
the unfittable fit, 
the face of the mask, 
the toomuch that I ask— 

Give me 
or go home.

 

Kanya Kanchana is a poet from India working on her first collection. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Anomaly, Asymptote, and elsewhere. Her translations have appeared in Exchanges, Asymptote, Waxwing, Circumference, Aldus, and Muse India. Her flash fiction has appeared in Litro and Paper Darts, and is forthcoming from The Conium Review. Her work was shortlisted for the 2019 DISQUIET Prize and awarded a 2018 baseCollective Residency Scholarship. Kanya is also engaged in practice, teaching, and Sanskrit philological research at the intersection of tantra and yoga and is currently doing her MPhil at the University of Cambridge.

[Purchase Issue 20 here.]

 

Building

Related Posts

Messy desk in an office

May 2024 Poetry Feature: Pissed-Off Ars Poetica Sonnet Crown

REBECCA FOUST
Fuck you, if I want to put a bomb in my poem / I’ll put a bomb there, & in the first line. / Granted, I might want a nice reverse neutron bomb / that kills only buildings while sparing our genome / but—unglue the whole status-quo thing, / the canon can-or-can’t do? 

Leila Chatti

My Sentimental Afternoon

LEILA CHATTI
Around me, the stubborn trees. Here / I was sad and not sad, I looked up / at a caravan of clouds. Will you ever / speak to me again, beyond / my nightly resurrections? My desire / displaces, is displaced. / The sun unrolls black shadows / which halve me. I stand.

picture of dog laying on the ground, taken by bfishadow in flickr

Call and Response

TREY MOODY
My grandmother likes to tell me dogs / understand everything you say, they just can’t / say anything back. We’re eating spaghetti / while I visit from far away. My grandmother / just turned ninety-four and tells me dogs / understand everything you say. / They just can’t say anything back.