Mitali Khanna Sharma

Prolonged Grief Disorder

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

If they ask: 
I sweat my history like my faith, cloaked
saints in strange forms
they cross, they rood, they clay their pots 
across forever —

(They are always naming these boats of kin).

There is so much God 
And I am so tired. 
I breathe in so many hollowed (or is it hallowed?) places 
          Trees, minarets, hoods of saints, the abdomen of the moth, Saint Louis, Missouri, and its big canoes
And I am so tired. 
And after the vaccine, my arms were so tired.
And when our daughter cries, I will be so tired.
There are so many histories, so many strange forms 
I fill in the night.

And if they ask: 
in your arms, I can be so tired and still 
fed by the anointing:
your humpbacked song, your body of the veil,
the moths, the worms, and the left
swollen, resting, and feeding, still:

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“Prolonged Grief Disorder” was initially acquired by Rogue Agent Journal and appears in Wordgathering with permission. See more at

About the Author

Mitali Khanna Sharma (she/her) is a Punjabi-American interdisciplinary writer, artist, editor, and agroecologist. You can explore more of her work at Find her somewhere in the Midwest. Or on Instagram: @mitalikhannasharma.