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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 1: What Am I?

Alfonso Santillana

Whole Everything Nothing
I am not my emotions,
I am not my thoughts,
I am not my beliefs,
I am not my labels,
I am not my pelvis,
I am not my clothes,
I am not what you see.
I am not what you cannot.
All definition is limitation,
and all conclusions are old.
Call this body whichever labels
you’ve been taught,
divide me in subgroups,
cut my mind in equal parts;
or name each cell in my body,
in a unison call for each other
and that will not be me.
Only as I expand
I become more accurate,
more equal, more fair, more just.
I am not my country,
I am not my God,
I am not my family,
I am not my world,
I am not society,
I am not my voice,
I am not my name,
I am not my home,
I am not what you think,
I am not what you forgo.
All definition is limitation,
and all conclusions are old.
I am the witness
helping this body be something more,
that whole everything nothing
that expands as I grow.
No one can hold grey matter
and call it a thought,
just as no one can define a body
to confine the soul.
Alfonso Santillana was born in Lima, Peru, in the Spring of 1982. Surfacing is his second collection of poems, and his first in English. He is currently pursuing his B.A. in Law and Political Science. He is married and resides in Miami, Florida.


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