a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
We stop our cars by the side of the highway
And open our mouths.
The light pours through our fingertips,
Leaves a trail in the grass.
We glow in the dark, our rage
Fills our bodies with butterflies.
Thousands of us march, lit
By our own insides, searching
For the ones still covered in darkness.
We light up trees with our touch,
Place our hands on mammals
We used to hunt. No need
For food now that we’re plugged
Into the fire left over from the sun.
The silver settles within
Our blood. We lift
Our hands to the ink-
Dark sky and fold
Down a corner
To dog-ear the night.
We will want to remember how it happened
That the scenery held in place
By such thin and fraying strings
Came crashing down
Not with a thud but with
The tinny sound of spilled light,
And how we didn’t see it coming
Nor did we expect the light
To land in the rivers of our throats.
We will want to remember how quickly
We learned the sky
Was done with its light
And how fitting our bodies were
To catch it and turn it to song.
Hila Ratzabi was born in Rehovot, Israel, and raised in Queens, New York. Her poetry has been published in Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, The Adroit Journal, About Place, and others. She is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things. Her poems appear in the anthologies Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She is the former editor-in-chief and poetry editor of Storyscape. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and currently lives in Rehovot, Israel.