Gather the Stones


First, a surprised fist, sealed with the mouth of a roaming sun. The woman handling the doves she pulls out from the ears of little children who shy away from we. They spill their smells on the grass, unwrapping its winter edges to put out the ceremony. Once, the summer only cracked open on the water’s longing for the stars huddled under cotton grass corals. You structure the ocean into two slim braids, each focusing in a particular jaw line, or the end of a lock, spooled to a boat. Horse hooves squint as you break the rocks to make nets to drag the red veins from the sea. At the breakfast table, I beat the time folded inside your dream when it rubs your two front teeth hoping to find a meaning. There is a home for every wall that doesn’t breathe. At least we know where to nibble around the burnt nests. Or catalogue the muscled cone of birds with the sky tied to them. Recall how we sew mirrors on the wall again. How the clouds clean up the moss. How we grow out of our heels. How we split our undoing every evening on the waxed floor.



Houses that don’t have music breed criminals


Fists opened. Fists closed. A small burst of air escapes from them, unlatched. It works on spent breath, or under the rocks made from hay dress that shelve spaces outside the windows. Watch as I turn the fan with the flowers stuck to my bare hair, my skin drying on the floor. Penumbra, Cinderella, how does your tongue behave with their motion on my breath. There is a light that hangs on the horizontal stories that locate themselves inside the dust of the piano. I cut them into neat little pinafores. Note that a criminal has two states of being-one that always threatens to break apart all around the sun. The other that points the clouds to two patches of light bursting against the ground. We trip over the lacework again and again, challenging the birds to pull us out of it. They manage to do so, though, and force us to perch on the chimney. We fill the house too much with our shadows, the dark that refuses to tell the leaves apart from each other.



Shinjini Bhattacharjee’s poems have been published in Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Gone Lawn, Crack the Spine, Jersey Devil Press, Metazen, Red Paint Hills Poetry, Literary Orphans and elsewhere. She is also the founding editor of Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal.


Cover Photo: Tina Vance (