The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Atlas of Lost Places by Yamini Pathak

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Sally Rosen Kindred, is from Atlas of Lost Places by Yamini Pathak, released by Milk and Cake Press in 2020. 


It is not enough
To love you. It is not enough to want you destroyed.
                                                            –Terrance Hayes

If someone loved me                              then cut the birds from my tongue

expeller-pressed the air from my lungs                              one wing at a time

dismembered me                                                 could I look back with the

lotus eyes of compassion                           see how they stain themselves?

gouge and bleed?                                    Could I join them in the darkroom

dip negatives                  in a chemical bath                              peg the damp

curls of nascent photographs from our lives

                                                            on a clothesline to drip dry overnight?

Would you judge me a fool if I said my love

is a parched well that never quits reaching for the aquifer?

Born under a water-sign, I fight different                                      Canyons are hewn

by a licking stream                                                  a tongue worrying stone after stone

like loosened teeth          My love-song is a blood-song                  survival-song

The bird boxed by night sings for us both

Yamini Pathak is the author of the chapbooks Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press) and Breath Fire Water Song (Ghost City Press Summer Series 2021). Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in Vida Review, Waxwing, Kenyon Review blog, Anomaly, Kweli Journal, and other places. She serves as poetry editor for Inch micro-chapbooks (Bull City Press) and as a Dodge Foundation Poet in Schools. Yamini is an MFA candidate at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is an alumnus of VONA/Voices (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation), and Community of Writers. 

Sally Rosen Kindred‘s third poetry book is Where the Wolf (Diode Editions, 2021). She is also the author of Book of Asters and No Eden, as well as three chapbooks, including Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewLos Angeles ReviewShenandoah, and Kenyon Review Online. She teaches online workshops for The Poetry Barn. 


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