Paradigm Shift

(Martin Square)

Dear structure closing in.

You enter me. Through an opening in the roof

I am brim-filled, all your slid lines
& restless walls echoing endlessly in.

A plane scissors through the blue
half-circle of my eye & wrapped

round a wooden beam— cabled,
nail-struck—a sailcloth hangs torn

from top to bottom, white sky visible
through the long, snaky seam,

cut halves spread by wind,
pulling away making the tear worse.

Your blown corners flap,
heaven torn open—divided, divided—

I push into your unfinished
curve. Against my body's raw beam

you threaten collapse as
canvas aches against wood.

Every stone will be thrown down,
not one will remain. In the beginning—

or is it the end—was the word,
all brittle edges & ruptured planes, wedged

& pushing through. Now you see it,
now you don't. How vision splits,

leans into the beyond—
branches spooked from bleak trees,

a startled rush of sparrows.
Inside it's less certain. What's cathedral,

what's counting house. What's armature
and cries out, needing flesh to finish.

You fill with famine, won't let me
in without feeding first. This, my body,

salted with fire, made to scrape through.

Mia Ayumi Malhotra is the associate editor of Lantern Review. Her poems are featured and forthcoming in Cutbank, Best New Poets 2012, The Collagist, DIAGRAM, Asian American Literary Review, and others. She currently lives and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761