a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
the stream that catches war’s peculiar rainfall? Or,
the spigot from where salt sprinkles the mourning?
the crack where groans seep into sky? Or,
the spear of salvation? Or,
the Israelites hearing from the god-cloud? Or,
skin-draped rubies strung from barbwire trees?
the groan clotting in God’s throat while our fate clings to wire taps?
did He barbwire trees to the sky to keep us from clinging?
is our blood the rainfall that puts God at ease? Are
we just fetching Him from the stream of our lives? Or…
We seep into trees, into sky falling,
keep our sere cries out of God’s hearing,
groan streams of barbwire to catch the war falling,
to catch the war falling from the sky.
God sits on rubies, hangs our fear out every morning—
barbwires a tree in the shape of a cloudless warning.
We sip rubies from the stream every mourning
& after hang our throats out to dry.
where ruby salt falls, from where
cloud-filled promises wandered—
finally, at ease, our salvation.
.chisaraokwu. (she/her) is an Igbo American actor, poet, and healthcare futurist. Her poetry and essays have appeared in many journals, including Glass, Midnight & Indigo, Cutthroat, and Obsidian. Her art explores the intersection of religiosity & mythology, and gender-based trauma in the African Diaspora. She has been awarded fellowships and writing residencies in the US and in Italy. She earned her BA in History from Stanford University and her MD from the Duke University School of Medicine.