by Sujash Purna

There were those brick cages long and high enough
to suck the daydreams out of our minds.
The only hope was a glimpse of a cleavage
across another grilled window where men
in Punjabis lounged in glee and the mistresses
lived in agony over millions of years before the end.

No clinging to the sky will despairingly 
desert you, no Aurora Borealis of the north.
You’re in the middle of a darkness of crisis,
culture vultures creeping, telling you what you 
should be in this age of smartphones 
and model UNs where nothing happens 
except words, to change the world.

The breaking is an astounding press on a discordant
chord—standing out against the whole conformity tune,
a running away from the enfant parallels with all
Notre Dame is burning— then why can’t you,
if they take you for granted?

We all will be ashes, but running into the fumes, 
mixing in the sunlight as if rainbows were awestruck,
dust is the best hope we can carry. It’s the age
of no more stability but happenstance, 
a shiny reflection on a corrugated tin roof.
We can pace ourselves for years, but we will
not know how everything used to be 
underneath our bodies, inside our heads.

Bangladeshi-born Sujash Purna is a graduate student at Missouri State University. A poet based in Springfield, Missouri, he serves as an assistant poetry editor to the Moon City Review. His poetry appeared in Naugatuck River Review, Kansas City Voices, Poetry Salzburg Review, English Journal, Stonecoast Review, Red Earth Review, Emrys Journal, Prairie Winds, Gyroscope Review, and others. His first book of poems, Biriyani, came out from Ohio’s Poet’s Haven Author Series in 2018.