a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Homeless. Not war or violence but drought, dying poppies,
dust. Always the choking dust. Her husband gone and
children starving in the shamal winds of a tent city, she’s
sold her red-haired Akila, only 6, for 200,000 afghanis
to a man named Najmuddin. As a bride, so he said, for
his 10 year old son. My Akila, says the woman who has
other mouths to feed, does not know I have sold her. In tears
she will go. But she’s a child, and I have no other choice.
Najmuddin, who’s paid only 5,000 thus far, says, Ah. . .
this was an act of charity. Says, Listen. . .these things do
happen. Even an old man marries a young girl, it happens.
And the woman, what does she say then?
She says, Who would ever ever sell a piece of her heart if she
didn’t have to do so. . .
Susan Terris’ new & recent books: Familiar Tense (Marsh Hawk Press), Spring 2019; Take Two: Film Studies (Omnidawn Publishing), Memos (Omnidawn Publishing); and Ghost of Yesterday (Marsh Hawk Press). She’s published 6 books of poetry, 16 chapbooks, 3 artist’s books, and one play. Journals include The Southern Review, About Place, Georgia Review, and Ploughshares. A poem of hers appeared in Pushcart Prize XXXI. A poem from Memos was in Best American Poetry 2015. Ms. Terris is editor emerita of Spillway Magazine and a poetry editor at Pedestal Magazine.