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. 

Elegy for the Way Home

Hidden behind your tongue         pooling in saliva
dissolved in salt and rust
the word for mango        aam
is the same as the word for common
In India it was common
to sit cross-legged on the swept floor
of your father’s house
suck the delight from the conch
of whole mangoes
taste their pickled sting
with your fingers before they tenderized your lips
made sour, your teeth
Where shall you go my sons? How will you ask for
answers, meaning uttar in your grandmother’s
mouth, meaning north, meaning crowns of
Himalayas, plains fertile with
sinuous river-Goddesses, your meridians
lined on your palms and your
genomes, meaning you
were birthed from a language where parsaun, the day
after tomorrow wheels around to point at
                                                the day before yesterday

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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