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Someday, I Identify as a Prairie

by Samuel Samba ​

Glory be to the improper plot: this acre of hand tilled hibiscus & the dying raven that slants midway, in collapsed grace. I am thankful for everything that lays chaotic. jagged landmass. raked mess of depression, inversely proportional to climate change— the way I discolour in summer. measuring tape laid to waste because this is a farm dispute where everyone wants to out-count the other. when Ma questions me on how I'd love to manage my existence, I tell her I wish to identify as a desert, barren with opportunity. ridges laid haphazardly—I find my loin tumbleweeding from its root. the shower head, gone haywire. all of my dirty-washings, heaping in the ugly fold of a mountain. It's barely summer & I have bled past two moons, dressed my blood, midair—hacking at the tough ground that spoils into green. hoping, my grief looks gorgeous in the face of harm. & say it doesn't, it still would remain mine to keep. sorrow knew me in the early hours of my birth. here, look how I wear the stench. even rain leaves petrichor as an aftertaste, in the mouth of the world. in the chewed minute, I observe night waste in plastic silence. branches shedding from their trunk. cloth, roasting in the unforgiving heat of summer. all creature here adores pain. It is one way to worship how we make something of it. even the blank page adores anguish. still, I choose joy. choose to wrap my head in the moment, scream a purple song, mow the lawn at the balcony. I joked around the blisters in my palm. thank the edges for being jagged & improper, thank the blade's music for making a mohawk of the grasses & the past that is a bunch of weed—ready for a haircut. I hope to make sense of my future someday. as of now, I identify as a prairie.

Samuel (him/his) is an indigenous writer of poetry & other works of art. He has works previously published/forthcoming in ExistOtherwise Magazine, Australian Poetry Journal, Australian Access Poetry, Munster Literature, and elsewhere. He won the 2022 Angela C Mankiewicz Poetry Contest, and got an honourable mention in the recent 2022 Christopher Hewitt Award in Poetry.

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