Brain Tastes like Sugar & After Kerala Floods
BRAIN TASTES LIKE SUGAR
“Following the abolition of slavery, first by the British in 1833 and subsequently by other colonial powers such as France, the Netherlands, and Portugal, the colonies urgently needed manpower, particularly on sugar and rubber plantations. To meet this demand, the British established an organized system of temporary labor migration from the Indian subcontinent. On the labor-supply side of the equation, poverty among the South Asian peasantry accounted for the principal reason to leave the subcontinent.”
spit in my hand, think I spent too much time, wrapping hands around books, splitting ideas, paper-cuts left on my fingers, bleeding for
salvation fizzing out at the tip of my tongue, does anyone remember
how a world shifts in its cradling embrace of confinement, how does one understand birth without order or remembrance.
no leader lasts in the fire-pit, screaming wrapped in diamonds
traveling oceans for some syrupy truth that melts in body heat
come to the garden, Eden will not retreat, there is no fruit here
freedom rhymes with redeem us, where is the only chance at that?
no one can bless a land in blood, a flame turning smoke at the tendril of
my existence, California burns, like the mouths of every ancestor cursed
into a reminder of the scythe in their hand and at their neck, for a green-eyed monster, crawls into their hands and sleeps at the throat and waits for another chance to dissect and dilute the only opportunity to finally set the self-free.
After Kerala Floods
we shake down afraid like fallen house
Each landslide may occur at night false witness baggage dropping
us into terror like that falling falling falling.
this monster claimed many lives, me gran & aunt took refuge upstairs
in their house in Parappukkkara
as expected, water levels rose & soon it was flooded downstairs.
For the men who were supposed to help only helped themselves to fear
of rat fever & the glut of snakes, in the water, each prayer sunk
me aunt’s husband was too afraid to go into the water to save
it was poor fishermen from the outskirts, willing to rescue without any pay
for kindness like that, what happened to masculinity so proclaimed
when push comes to shove, hypocrites, looking for nothing but their own light.
man built this house & nature tumble
fragile & forever
much like me uncle, vowing to protect his wife fragile & forever
Shawn Anto is 23 years old from Bakersfield, California. He’s originally from Kerala, India. He currently studies at Cal State Bakersfield looking to receive his B.A. in English & Theatre. His writing has been featured in Orpheus, Internet Void and Ink & Voices.