Code

This land knows itself by the pull of what it roots. The crows inverse at sundown. Their wings of black crayon, all this pandemonium for a piece of bone with some chicken still clung to it. A keepsake, a round robin for the blue plate. At this juncture in summer, light’s final moths struggle across our linen curtains like a tribe of banished angels. There is a baby hidden among the pink cassis and across the night-leaf, we measure the moving Rorschach of its new body. 

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My hands speak for my grandmother’s art of haggling with rug sellers and bread-makers on Sunday evenings.

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At the clinic, a question-mark; part enigma, part accident. Aphantasia. An inability for the mind’s eye to visualize, remember and recall images. A boy who can see but can’t remember a photograph burns the last of his father’s belongings. The promise of his horizon withheld from both sea and sky. 

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The moon, bowed, featherbedded behind the abandoned factory —a tooth half-spat by a minor god. 

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Some people touch you and it is a form of taking. Others touch you & it is a way of shaping.

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Between bedtime and antidepressants, I text a joke – ‘SSRI love you’. In the deep black of Bombay, a bridal shehnai – its bone-lute phalange cinching such heavy notes. I recall Shahid—tonight, no music will suffice.

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This nemophila, this cup-curved privacy, this memory that is part blackout, part staircase. This infinite room, these echoing crossroads. Everything is arrival and afterwards at the same time. What is choice? What is descent? Each word arching into its own entre chien et loup—at once an animal, its history, its eclipse and its shadow. 


Scherezade Siobhan is an award-winning psychologist, writer and a community catalyst who founded and runs The
Talking Compass — a therapeutic space dedicated to providing counseling
services and decolonizing mental health care. Her work has been or will be
featured in Medium, The Quint, Vice, Berfrois, Feministing, The London
Magazine, Pinwheel, DATABLEED, Winter Tangerine, Cordite
among others. She is the author of “Bone Tongue” (Thought Catalog Books, 2015), “Father, Husband” (Salopress, 2016) and “The Bluest Kali” (Lithic Press, 2018). Find her @*zaharaesque* on
twitter/IG/Facebook. Send her chocolate and puppies — nihilistwaffles@gmail.com