the siege inside

Maya Chhabra

the siege inside

o you with hands that reach to save
souls drowning in the hungry sea
approach now like a breaking wave
and tumble down the walls of me

these walls i wrought but to withstand
siege-engines of a mortal foe
who rides like flame through burning land
and seeks to lay my towers low

yet leave no stone upon a stone
for in that prison named my soul
all love is now to coldness grown
in faded gray my days unroll

o quickly come you who would break
the curse i laid when i was free
and all my walls at last unmake
and all my loves return to me
_______________

Maya Chhabra is a poet whose work has most recently appeared in Mythic Delirium, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and Star*Line. Her novelette Walking on Knives is available from Less Than Three Press, and her novella Toxic Bloom is forthcoming from Falstaff Books. She lives in New York.

Editor’s Notes: This ghostly poem with 8-syllable lines and an abab rhyme scheme is complemented by multiple images of the same thing—a scary hands image from sales person Ken Thoreson’s article “It’s Scary Out There”—with varying levels of transparency. The background ocean “blue wave” graphics is from pngtree.com.

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