i tell the land
by karo ska
you deserve better. you deserve more than
leaky pipelines crisscrossing your heart,
nuclear reactors spewing atomic waste
into your lungs, pesticides seeping into
your skin. you deserve more than a species
who thinks they need money more than you.
every month, i pay rent & enable
your theft. i dream of co-ops & no-cost
housing, of vegetable gardens & open-air
free markets. dear land, how do we
evict an empire? how do we fight
guns with words & bricks? how
do we recover your magic our bulldozers,
gmo’s & aerosols destroyed?
i keep writing, searching
for the incantation to set you free.
i tell you, i need more time, but
time is running out at the speed
of glaciers melting. i press my palms
into your dirt, splaying my fingers, a holy
invocation -- a prayer. i tell you, i see
your future. a future of ready-to-pluck
berries, their juices painted on the lips
of the people who dared to dream
of a land without dollar signs.
you breathe. a wind frollicks
in the tresses of my hair, a leaf
taps my shoulder, rain kisses me.
me & you, we are alive. & we
Karo Ska (she/they) is a South Asian & Eastern European non-binary femme poet, living on occupied Tongva Land. Some of their other work appears in Dryland Lit, Resurrection Magazine, the Intercultural Press, Marías at Sampaguitas, and Ayaskala Magazine. Their first full-length collection, “loving my salt-drenched bones” (World Stage Press) is forthcoming in February 2022. They are also the librarian at the Sims Library of Poetry. For updates, follow them on instagram @karoo_skaa or check out their website karoska.com.