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. 

Atlas of Lost Places

Popat the fortune-telling parrot hops out onto grimy pavement, picks tarot cards for
anxious passersby, dines on his petri-dish of green chilies and broken fruit. His clipped
wings dream of flight, scarlet-tipped verdant arrows that spear blue skies, of siesta in the
guava grove, of orgies succulent with wild mango.


I stood before the crowd, a gryphon beating its wings in my chest. I, afraid of the
monster that would emerge. How I uncollared my throat, let the waiting beast spill out,
the stagnant air turned into sonic compressions and rarefactions. How I finally loved the
creature enough not to care who was witness to its unfettered call.


Lie flat on your back, eyes closed, third eye open. Where are you? Are you the gold behind
shuttered eyelids? the knocking mallet at the back of your throat? the hot spots in your
hollowed palms? the lapping waves in the sink of your stomach where a boat rocks
waiting, waiting to carry you across to the unglimpsed shore?

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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