In the Middle of Things by Arushi Singh

Mother is what comes
Before and after my face
Father is the aftermath of break in my umbilical
Cord
Mother holds and kisses his face
The contractions are not yet bad enough
Mother smiles- two crescents, halfway up like a
hanging boat ride
Father will remember this day
Years of hard distance between them
dissipitating in the wetness of one
kiss
Mother starts to crumple, my sister can see the wrinkles
On her face
Father arches his eyebrows
Mother lets out a howl like a
Wolf looking for the moonlight
Father passes out in fear
A man-two many chemicals and birth at his door
Mother screams and screams and screams till
The blood slowly abandons her bones
By the time father rises, there isn’t much to resurrect
We traded birth for life
The doctor smiles- baby in her arms
Rocked to silence like the warmth of a lamb’s skin
After the lion kisses his face
Father holds the child
A dead mother’s body tied to a memoir
Cutting the chord he lifts me
Up
And smiles
Remembering how much I look like her
last lover
The end of the end
Is near
I haste
I turn to the sweet comfort
Of absolution
To the dome of answers that have
No questions
When I was building a mosque
It was the minaret and
I
The ant that carried
The
I was the cathedral of
Bombs
The cathedral of
Homes
I was the apple
Once bitten
Twice sinned
I was the lover
Half crescents bitten into
My knees
When I was making my breasts
Disappear
You were my god
And I
Your sinner
Half moons were shaped to
Remind us
That nothing is complete till you see
Beyond

Arushi Singh is a poet, book reviewer, and literature student from India. Her latest poems are about to be published in Radius: Poetry from the centre to the edge and Chiron Review. She has also had her poetry published in several magazines such as The Big Windows Review, Literary Yard, Fourth and Sycamore, Anti Heroin Chic, Cat on a Leash, and many more. She is currently trying to become a full-time poet.