My Nana’s Video Cassette Library, His Death

by Kashiana Singh

My nana’s bookshelf
was my paradise

readers digests, Huckleberry Finn
a Britannica encyclopedia
a Quran too

then he grew older, my Nani died,
and aloneness arrived.

He decided to transform
into a lender, from a reader
his walled library

became a display of video cassettes
I remember, the magic of that room

emblazoned by a vision, an addiction
dotted with names of movies, lettered spines
descending floor to ceiling across all walls

white jackets, with black borders
handwritten names, aseptic

I would sit cross legged
in that room, each rowdy summer
as a brood of cousins binged boundlessly

mangos scooped into eating contests
drowned with spicy buttermilk, then meticulously

laying claim to vanilla ice cream bricks
that summer afternoon when my nana died
I stole four of his VHS cassettes, and

also entitled myself, to his de luxe
gramophone & a cane rocking chair

they say that the lifespan
of a video tape is 25 years
then pixilation sets in.

Artist: Unknown

Kashiana Singh is a management professional by job classification and a work practitioner by personal preference. Kashiana’s TEDx talk was dedicated to Work as Worship. Her poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words presents her voice as a participant and an observer. Her poems have been published on various platforms including Poets Reading the News, Visual Verse, Oddball Magazine, TurnPike Magazine, Dissident Voice, Feminine Collective, Spillwords, Poetry Super Highway. You can listen to her reciting her work on a couple of Rattlecast sessions. Kashiana lives in Chicago and carries her various geographical homes within her poetry.

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