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.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her chapbook Home is Hyperbole won the Boston Uncommon Chapbook Series (Boston Accent Lit). She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal and author of Synecdoche (The Poetry Annals) and Prosopopoeia (Ghost City Press).