Hari B. Parisi
Hari B. Parisi’s (formerly Hari Bhajan Khalsa) poems have been published in numerous journals and are forthcoming in The Blood Pudding and Black Fork Review. She is the author of three volumes of poetry, most recently, She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep, winner of the 2020 Tebot Bach Clockwise Chapbook Contest. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Website: haribpoet.comInstagram: @haribpoetFacebook: @haribparisiAuthor of She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They SleepAvailable on Amazon, Bookshop
What might be dust, streaks on a map,sudden shifts of latitude, strawberries, scraping by, the bull’s determined eye. How August flames. Mississippi silt.Amaranth. Swatchof skin—bite, sting, rash,the over-exposed.Seduction.Bewitchment.Sash of a dress, stilettos, blown tops, cataract of cinders.The viper’s flickering tongue. You can’t forget lipstick (mother’s), nail polish, reluctanceof male attire (perhaps in a monogram, a tie’s pitched line). Never winter’s inevitable thaw, divine revelations,the steady point of a star. No: it’s Mars, the ravishes of waste, rust,putting everything on the line—watching it burn.
Poets Note: I wrote this poem, along with several other “colors” a few years ago, giving myself a challenge to include a specific letter at least once in each line of the poem. For “Red” the letter was “t.” For “Blue” it was “m,” for “Yellow” it was “n,” etc. The effect was to create an underlying cohesion woven through the text of the poem.