Jacsun Shah

To-Do List

Tap lightly, and everywhere

beneath an awning tinkling with raindrops

Kiss the back of a slender petiole

Whisper sea-secrets into a shell

Admit what pales and what thaws

Dance until the sweat soaks your hair

Search out a new queen

Scramble them and think––

the words for that one thing without an end

Protect it, the light on the wall

Scrub the heavy storm air

Drop fears and shame

Scatter them like ashes out the window––

fibs and edits that snatch identity

Taste the motion, even as you walk too fast

Cage the lion who prowls in your mouth

Close upon the words, then a rose, then nothing

Source & Method

Cento. Lines, in order of appearance, from: Laura Romeyn, Grace Shuyi Liew, Yu-Han Chao, Charles Harper Webb, Kelly Weber, Arielle Hebert, Amelia Martens, Tony Mancus, Thomas Hummel, Lisa Summe, C. J. Scruton, Laura Gamache, Heidi Seaborn, Natasha Schapova, Rusty Morrison, L. A. Johnson, Donald Revell

Jacquelyn “Jacsun” Shah: A.B. & M.A. English; M.F.A., PH.D. English literature, creative writing–poetry. Published: various journals/anthologies; chapbook; full-length book. Winner––Literal Latté’s Food Verse contest 2018.

Issue 24