scenario two : wanderless



so you aren’t struck by lightning

& regardless this culture has no myths

about lit women anyway




the animal spooled in his own unwinding

calls you mother in some dreams


other times someone reads your palm

shaking their head, saying, no stars


align, no stars align




the sun decides you aren’t worth it. it’s true

the sky’s chakra is never wrong : peach puddles

lining the horizon. you dip your toes


in runoff, think of white divinations

soaring over a synth




broken, you won’t eat the raspberries, say

you shouldn’t eat what will stain




you sit at the mouth of the river

alone, like always, like you never have

before. it sounds like it’s singing baby


please go please but you know

no one tells the dead they’re not wanted anymore


Indian American poet Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Four Way Review, Indiana Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, and many more. Shirali's honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Shirali was the Spring 2017 Philip Roth Resident at the Stadler Center for Poetry, and currently serves as a poetry reader for Muzzle Magazine.