Journey to Satchidananda

Roger Reeves

Alice Coltrane, her harp, fills in the cracks of meWith gold. The Japanese call it Kintsugi.Where the vessel broken, only gold will permitIts healing. Its history. It's How the Stars UnderstandUs, lemon flowers on the skin of the earth,Mosquito filled with the blood that sirens its fat,Long life. Who isn't dying to leave this house,To go masked only in the shadow of one's animal-Breathing, lonesome, unprotected, knowingNothing lives as foreignness or death,That the black dog with the sword in his mouthPassing from house to house will not bring its itch,Its ticks and locks clogging our lungs, a permanentQuarantine—nothing that a little goldMelted to ichor and spilled into the veinsWon't seam. Everything is a blue divergenceOn a harp, the red bells in the purpleCrepe myrtle this morning forgettingThat soon they will be the corpses the springTree kneels to observe. No, no, they rememberAs everything dying remembers its mother'sName. Say your mother's name. Not for powerBut for the glimpse of power, to be moreThan a hesitation, gold filling in the cracks,A window thrown open for no other reasonThan to continue a blue feeling, nothingNeeded other than this devotion to darkness,A Fire Gotten Brighter, my daughter holdingMy small name in her mouth, light-brokenBeloved, my daughter—a window thrownOpen—her voice, gold filling in the crackedBasketball court of me, announcing allNature, all nature will be dead for life soon.

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photo of Roger Reeves

Reeves earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a 2015 Whiting Award, two Pushcart Prizes, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and a 2008 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. His first book, King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013), won the Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, and a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award. His second book of poems, Best Barbarian (W.W. Norton, 2022), is forthcoming.

cover of The Sewanee Review Fall 2021

Fall 2021

Sewanee, Tennessee

University of the South

Editor
Adam Ross

Managing Editor & Poetry Editor
Eric Smith

Assistant Editors
Hellen Wainaina
Jennie Vite

Founded in 1892 by the teacher and critic William Peterfield Trent, the Sewanee Review is the longest-running literary quarterly in America. The SR has published many of the twentieth century’s great writers, including T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Wallace Stevens, Saul Bellow, Katherine Anne Porter, Marianne Moore, Seamus Heaney, Hannah Arendt, and Ezra Pound. The Review has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent, from excerpts of Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor’s first novels to the early poetry of Robert Penn Warren, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and Christian Wiman. “Whatever the new literature turns out to be,” wrote editor Allen Tate in 1944, “ it will be the privilege of the Sewanee Review to print its share of it, to comment on it, and to try to understand it.” The mission remains unchanged.

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