blood from the stone | Shastra Deo

after Kaitlin Wadley


it is easier to want

after nightfall: being

            of your being born 

            in blood spill, shedding

                        all that light. what

                                     blueprint sits unfinished

                                                 in you—your

                                     body the wound

                        between object and eye, architecture of your

                                     brain built unforgiving, brimful

                                                              with memory

            of those seen but unseeing. the space

            you fill and the space that fills you

is a muscled expanse, and so little

            of the universe is empty.

                         you can’t cut deep

enough to hit bone, but

            skin is its own story:                                        inter—

soul into body is an act of

            violence and I will not forget

                                      to bleed. in your godhood you


                             mantle and



            what comes back, what

            sleeps under stone until the mourning

                          cloak is lifted, what excavated absence

                                                    opens its eyes in the dark and stirs

against your limning hands.







Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. Her work deals with the intersection of trauma, memory, and selfhood, with a particular focus on corporeality and embodiment. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP 2017), won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.




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