a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
tents sag to mud & wind & children find ways to morning praise together—
stick rock feather. they squat the earth intent on a beetle’s journey. head-turn
at wind through an empty can. the call of a bird they do not know. Sitti, they
skip through starglow, legs bonethin, they sleep deep despite the din. nest
comma-curled in one bed—brother sister mother—head head head. sing prayers
to the new. memorize the maze to the toilet pit. they listen to strangers. their
haphazard flock an excuse to spit & scream. anything to forget their hollowed bellies.
wingbeats that dream a fast escape to strange lands. the stars wink wrong in the sky.
what was home becomes unknown.
*Bequaa is a region east of Beirut where many Syrian refugee families live in tents since the civil war of Syria began.
Claudia F. Saleeby Savage is part of the performance duo Thick in the Throat, Honey. Her latest collection of poetry is Bruising Continents (Spuyten Duyvil) with recent work in BOMB, Denver Quarterly, Columbia, Nimrod, Water-Stone Review, and Anomaly (the interview series “Witness the Hour: Arab American Poets Across the Diaspora”). She is a 2018–2021 Black Earth Institute Fellow and her collaboration, reductions, with visual artist Jacklyn Brickman, is forthcoming in 2021 in Detroit and Portland. Her poetics are influenced by rabid reading, Alice Coltrane, and long hikes in drippy forests. She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, OR.