Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Purvi Shah

“Some didn’t make it. Some did.”

Urge to journey — as when you see a stretch
of New York City streets, expanse to ocean:

a both here or there. At times you reach
Hudson’s edge. At times, deep Atlantics of longing.

At times, a sinking. At times, a vista: new Jhelum just ahead.

* * *
“Some didn’t make it. Some did.”

You gaze upon bedroom hanger, how the suits
used to stack, hide bevy of shoes. But now, band-

less, shoes peek out, spilling sorrows or new destinations


* * *
“Some didn’t make it. Some did.”

The windows miss their workers. The walls miss
their buttresses. The workers miss their chatter,

how a meal brought plenty, how a scent could
waft into a smokeless ascension, how odor never was/charred.

* * *
“Some didn’t make it. Some did.”

How a rainbow is weightless, how it can carry
wait. How your heart carries memory, footsteps

of yesterday’s refugee, song of tomorrow’s
compatriots. You chalk a rainbow across side-

walks, make an affiliation of sky & earth, song
& silence, those made & unmade & ready to be

made, this world &

this world, and yet

again, now changed — again — this world & this world.