From “The Voice of Sheila Chandra”

Long before she lost it drift-
S unanchored wanted to merge
And the body of the singer become
The body of the instrument
Talk to the drum find it hum 
Study its vowels she made her vow
To sound slowly syllable by
Syllable she pronounced words
In Uzbek word unmoored word 
Pure sound oh river long had I 
Been long seasons invaded 
By your current devoured your tongue 
Of water those years time bent 
My one voice spoke

From The Voice of Sheila Chandra (Alice James Books, 2020). Copyright © 2020 Kazim Ali. Used with permission of the author.