Quill by Alia Hussain Vancrown

Sparrows become rainclouds
in the crumbling, granite birdbath. 
The tombs of my ancestors collapse
the way calligraphy cracks: a spine
out of alignment. 

It takes one thousand rupees to restore
the epitaphs skyward. The direction of prayer. 

Afternoon wilts into evening. 
An entire herd of deer grows used to traffic. 
Ears turn, but I suspect the annoyance
of flies or ticks, not the oncoming vehicle
of death. 

When loss is an unnamed ocean, 
grains of salt enter every drop, 
and the mixing is a brand new ecosystem. 

Acidic. Warming. 

Even this destruction we will destroy, like so many
preened feathers, darkened when splashed, 

in the source of all life.


Contributor Notes

Alia Hussain Vancrown was born December 1, 1987. Her work has appeared in Unlikely Stories, Drunk Monkeys, Eunoia Review, Red Fez, Midway Journal, Ink In Thirds, among others. She welcomes all discussion of books and poetry and can be found on Facebook or contacted via e-mail at alia.vancrown@gmail.com.