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

Image of a statue of a woman wearing a dress in white against a beige background, cover of Ama Codjoe's poetry collection.

September 2022 Poetry Feature: Ama Codjoe—from BLUEST NUDE

AMA CODJOE
When my mother was pregnant, she drove / every night to the Gulf of Mexico. / Leaving her keys and a towel on the shore, / she waded into the surf. Floating / naked, on her back, turquoise waves / hemming her ears, she allowed / the water to do the carrying.

view of valley from mountain

August 2022 Poetry Feature: Nathan McClain—from PREVIOUSLY OWNED

NATHAN MCCLAIN
Had I not chosen to live there— / among the oaks and birches, / trees I’d only ever seen in poems / until then…spruce, pine, / among the jack-in-the-pulpit / (though I much preferred “lady slipper”) / the tiger lily, milkweed, the chickadee / and blue jay, even the pesky squirrel

Park Bench

Translation: Poems by Juan de Dios García

JUAN DE DIOS GARCÍA
He speaks to us of Finnish lakes, of a dialect populated by birds and fruit, of high wooded hills, perpetual snow, a petroleum sky. “In the north they’re raised on melancholy,” he says, “and their dead weigh more than those from here.” He speaks of a Greek father and a war.