by Ellen Kombiyll
Ma absent in her three-day trance. The garden didn’t burn she says then all day stares at the television. Perhaps the game show host repeats the cue: Name something specific that has an anchor. Is the correct answer loss when speaking metaphorically? Like pinecones in a fire burst, reviving earth, scarred seeds burrow & wait for water. My name means flight which is what I know. Or, like a tarantula escapes glass walls to one day climb the rocky precipice of a waterfall— carapace cast off among ferns shaking taffeta skirts, the strut of escargot—O the wild yes of silk slips trailing silver— is it love?
Ellen Kombiyil is the author of Histories of the Future Perfect (2015), and a micro chapbook Avalanche Tunnel (2016). Recent work appears in New Ohio Review, the minnesota review, Nimrod, and Ploughshares. She is a two-time winner of the Mary M. Fay Poetry Award from Hunter College, an Academy of American Poets college prize, and the Nancy Dean Medieval Prize for an essay on the acoustic quality of Chaucer’s poetics. She co-founded of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship-model press publishing emerging poets from India and the diaspora.