ONE POEM – Sneha Subramanian Kanta

tikkho-maciel-113477-unsplashPhoto by Tikkho Maciel on Unsplash

Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry (Poets Resist), Across The Margin, In/Words Magazine and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journaland author of the micro-chapbook Synecdoche(The Poetry Annals, UK)

This poem was also featured in Issue Two of Porridge, available for purchase here.

The Woods are where Witches Go

Orchids hang from boughs in spring— what if I ask if spring is
an euphemism for sex: the wild, fervent gaze of cross-pollination,
of smells & bees & seeds & birds. I am a woman— what does it
mean to be told that you are in the spring of your life? My body
reacts to spring as a bumblebee to the stamen soaked with sunlight
after a long winter of hibernation. Last winter, I saw the skeletal
remains of armadillos lined on porous mud in the forest & cried
for spring when thick fog came upon the land. It was quiet & frost
coagulated into thin sheets of slippery ice. The sublime brings me
terror now & I learn to speak in the language of a bird so something
tender cuts through my rib cage. I think of my mother & death that
living writes on our bones in the void of adverbs. The blank, unknown
touch of the body as it breaks out into sepals in spring. The buoyant
feeling in the abdomen when it is being born with a chrysalis, into
woman, into butterfly. Spring has surrounded green mountains with
white cotton clouds & a blue sky. I climb the slope uphill & stand by
the tall cliff, look out for my mother, making a talisman of the
scant azure of sundown. In a semicircular shape a one ribbon rainbow
of skyblue streaks the wide, weightless ether. The woods scatter into
amber leaves & the green frolic of spring. The woods are where witches
go to learn about their dead mothers & see bare bones left in the cold.

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