We Shall Not Die of Exploration

But May Birth A Life


As a child, I always asked my mother

why her maternal aunt always made

a god out of situations & cursed god

afterward, when things did not go her

way. She smiled—understandingly.

I do not remember the month or

year, only charcoal black streaked skies

as butterflies retreated into their abodes

in the chiaroscuro evening & that the rain

fell slant like a descent of lightheaded jelly

beads. My mother pointed towards the

deadwoods & sang a song. I thought, this

place is an Ouija board, where lightning

would strike. When the rains were over,

two saplings arose out of a tree bark.

She left some grains of wheat in a ceramic

bowl when the sun came out again.

By noon, a blackbird had made a home

out of the ruin & my mother and I were

on the burlap path again, the closest my life

has resembled a prayer. When the voices

died, there was silence, as though there

was no chronology to god but plenitudes:

foliage, rainwater, mud, sunlight, the wind,

a sweetness on the face of my mother.

 Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal and author of Synecdoche (The Poetry Annals) and Prosopopoeia (Ghost City Press).