Emily Badri

Seed self

another paradox:
if you join the ground,
you join the sky.
lying on the ground
the hands cup under the surface
for palmfuls of earth
and the hair becomes a kind of root system

you can both commune with a fellow
creature and see the whole of the heavens

your heart opens like a bean-clasp
and the relevance of
the human form fades
as green leaf matter unfurls

the deeper you reach,
the nearer the sun.

All ashen

It was a field rotmottled throughout
and stinging from the theft
it is a field pickled in soursop metal shops

the bodies walking on it
half don’t remember the ones under
until the haunt breath of the longwalking
manages to whisper through
to one
Draw near the reckoning
before we wake in the night choking
the ground all ashen
there are stretches of earth
burning already
though you may not have seen and smelt
or shaken ash from your hair
your lungs may even be clean
go and see scorched homelands
and returning,
rather than thanking your maker for your fire-
free town examine your water usage—
have you hoarded both life and flame-solvent?
are there matches in your pockets?

collect our rainwater
and give it back

Emily Badri is a writer, artist, mother and partner based in Smyrna, Tennessee. She is dedicated to collective efforts toward well-being and empowerment. Her academic and professional work has centered on community-building and transformative justice. Hiking, making and keeping her hands in the ground keep her going.