Sagaree Jain

In Which Relapse and Recovery Share a Prefix


In which a bat sings sweetly

and the sound reverberates


in its cave, in which my friends

build an altar and relearn


the rhythm of one another’s breath,

in which I return to the dispensary


and am drawn forward, forward. In which

we recount the fingers we have lost,


in which we recall to sweep the ash

from our sternums, in which we reschedule therapy


again. I came here to redeliver this flesh

to God as we once knew Him. To relapse


is to remember in your human

body all your techniques to tamper


with Eden—but listen. To walk

in a circle is to revisit home


with loving callus on your toes.

To repeat yourself is to pray over


your favorite stories. And to recover

is to tread the same ground


you have always tread, eyes open,

palms to the sky, making a mockery of time.

Meditations on a Panoply

after Karisma Price

I want to split the spliff but I can’t, because of the pandemonium. I’d love to babysit, but—

the panopticon. Maybe it’ll be over soon, the paella. I wanted to reach out,

touch the stubble on your skin, but the palindrome. I wanted to feel another body

rubbing heat into mine, but the pyrite. You couldn’t catch me out like that in a

pansexual. My friends planned twice then thrice to clasp their hands in marriage

because, the damn panacea. It’s hard to feed a lover and his love when, everywhere,

in your shuddering heart, is the pancetta. When the liquor called me, I knew to caw back

from a crow’s beak but what will I speak from in the Pretoria? I’ve been so lonely in the

parakeet. Can’t handmake you a meal in a premonition. Won’t risk your dad’s health in a

prevaricate. Couldn’t find the words for the periodontist. My Dadu had a bridge group of six before

one by one by one, floating fire on the lake’s surface, how are your elders, and are they

holding their solitude warm like a face upturned to the sun? I was glad to hear your aunt

survived. There were others that didn’t and that’s what it is, a perennial. Sometimes it’s

a lovingly cooked meal and sometimes it’s me rocking in my rain boots, mask fogging my twin

windows, and my neighbor’s saying, I think on the kingdom of heaven. My children come by

once a week, and I think on the kingdom of heaven, and I wave my goodbyes. What can you do but pray

in a

Sagaree Jain (they/them) is a poet, writer, artist, and queer from the Silicon Valley. Their writing has been featured in Autostraddle, The Margins, them. magazine, and The Offing, where they’re also an Assistant Editor. Their collaborative poetry collection with Arati Warrier, Longing and Other Heirlooms, is the winner of the Eggtooth Editions Chapbook Contest and is forthcoming fall of 2021. They are class and caste privileged and tweet at @sagareejain.

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