a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
at its borders you remove your shoes
just as you would before a you enter a shrine.
Landscape becomes darkness: you learn
to measure light in context with textures
of different darknesses. Land, like your body
is clay. The ocean is composed of sediments
& water. Both are life-givers. You learn
that no two life-givers are same. You owe
one a debt of birthing you, to the second
you owe a lifetime. On land you walk with
warm lungs. In the ocean, you are a fish
with gills, accustomed to swim cold waters.
You open & close as the wings of a bird.
Land is a ripe mango on your tongue
the ocean is a watermelon in your mouth.
Your memory of the dead is like the rain—
rain colors itself same as the place it falls on:
say, entire cities, streets & buildings. A force
with small hands reckons remembrance.
Sometimes rain, sometimes the darkness
leads you to light. Both opaque & tender.
In your language, light means illumination
& dark is when the night spreads its fangs.
You veil a blanket on your child & pray for
mercy for those with whom you share & will
share history. You live invisibly through
bullet shots & hide the heads of your beloveds.
You go to the ocean & chant how heavy
the world weighs on your shoulders.
You are bone & skin on the ship in the ocean,
your stomach is full with the excesses
of images: land & leaving. The ocean offers
more water the further away you move from
across the shallow ends of a shore. Your heart,
like the ocean, pumps blood continually.