SSRI Love You (Inconvenience Regretted)

(to ask) forgiveness suits / that serpent who is—venom-fanged, colossal / what of that which is already toothless / fallow, deferential, self-simplified..
(Translation, Mine)

  1. In Urdu, saaf is clean. As in a bloodline, a body-bag, a bone in Nihari suckled dry. A necessary surgery to unburden my mouth of my trauma.
  2. In English, safe is a city that stays unfinished, insensate, offroaded; a bouquet of borrowed serendipities looped in the butterfly effect.
  3. You are worn. You were warned, watered with threats. Soundlessly warehoused. Willed for the long withering. For whom this country— this stifled wormhole, this burning warhorse?
  4. In the mind’s reamed homesickness, my name is neither clean nor safe. Outside, memory’s destabilized traffic; a flickered trail of ants in each lawless itch.
  5. How to detour your triggers? The post in post-traumatic stress disorder is unchaperoned, open to shelling at all times. This whole season is a wound-broken animal rubbing its bloodied hooves against the wired fence of a borderline.
  6. Bombay is noise released in its unchallenged, lineal pedagogy. My illness does not register a domicile status.
  7. “My moss piglet”, he emails in nerdy adoration because I too can weather the deep-ends & the permafrost & perhaps even the volcanic ash.
  8. On certain days, my breath as beautiful as the yang chants in a Tibetan temple. On others, just an angry crow gutting the garbage dump.
  9. The edge between the lips (Cupid’s bow) and the face is called the vermillion border. It is a gaunt desire that dictates margins.
  10. Hafiz wrote: Stop the chase & be a witness.
  11. Here is my paused escape, my automatic errata. Every desperate wing, each rocked boat.

(This poem can be read from top to bottom or from bottom to top. )

The city I inhabit presently is inherently symbolic of an incompleteness that ends up defining those who live in their shadows. Often memory shrugs off its linearity and turns into a spindle. That is what this poem is – a spindle, maybe…


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.

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