Sneha Subramanian Kanta


Antonym: citizen, belonging.

A midnight treaty signed with red hands.
Losing the count of birds blooming in the sky.

A girl leaving wheat, mustard, & barley fields
distances between unrecognized territories.

Everyone a cartographer until the finalization
of new maps. Our ancestors running on grasslands

with scarves & bags. Their hearts, a reliquary.
The first time they hear the word border.

A broken inheritance of winter & unnamed graveyards.
Walking over unknown margins. A prayer for mercy.

Sitting in silence by the highways, peering at every
passing headlight. A huddle of breaths when sounds

of gunshots arise from beyond the pitchforked streets.
A place from where the flames rise between piles

of newspapers & hay. A deviation toward warmer spells.
Leaning into marrows of frail ghosts that inhabit the body.

The stars have fallen. The stars have fallen, scattering like
unnamed bodies on the ground. A constellation of ghosts.

When our ancestors prayed, the land thawed into a river,
flowing into an ocean. Sacred spells of light overhead.


Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a recipient of The Charles Wallace Fellowship at the University of Stirling (2019). A GREAT scholarship awardee, she has earned her second postgraduate degree in literature from England. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal and reader for Palette Poetry and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She is the author of Land: Body / Ocean: Muscle (forthcoming with dancing girl press).