Sounding Off

Devi S. Laskar

Sari silk sarcophagus but not the cadaver’s
dissected esophagus. Trembling but only when
the treble clef is obvious. The blue violence

of indigo, the mistaken identity
of forget-me-nots. Arterial hearts of peaches.

The click clack of the neighbor’s dog on the stairs.
The click clack click of the train on the railroad built

when my grandfather was only a boy. The eyes,
the ayes, the ‘I’s always have it. Always halve it.
Sunflowers wet on the canvas. Sunflowers etched

at the bottom of the serving dish. Sunflowers
asleep in winter refusing to rise under

weak dawning. Champagne because the ‘g’ is silent.
Quatrain because the ‘q’ is not. Mascarpone

and julienne mandolin in every TV cook’s
kitchen. Scotch whiskey dares and picture brides in the war
stories we hear. Every tale turns into Hades’s

abduction of Persephone. Her mother’s abject
grief and how the leaves burned copper and bronze. How

the leaves fell one by two, faster and faster until
everything, the world, was found wanting at her feet.

Devi S. Laskar is a native of Chapel Hill, N.C. She holds an MFA from Columbia University in New York, an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former newspaper reporter, she is now a poet, photographer and artist. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from The Atlanta Review, Fairy Tale Review and The Raleigh Review, which nominated her for Best New Poets 2016. She is an alumna both of TheOpEdProject and VONA/Voices. Finishing Line Press published the first of two poetry chapbooks, “Gas & Food, No Lodging” in March 2017; and will publish “Anastasia Maps” in December 2017. She now lives in California.