Beyond the Border/Hamsa

(published in Frigg Magazine 2014)


The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,

swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,

cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—

beyond this room, beyond this wall

I can almost hear you—the soil

sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;

folds of light robes around you like

birds’ wings—your child

asleep on your warm back,

your sky a sea, an earth, a breath


because you’re there I’m less anxious

(as I palm another pill) because I rely

on sedated time I sit in my chair,

lost somewhere before the border,

where I see myself later—aged and worn away—

walking to you, palms up.


“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting

for me, time is something else to you—

so I see I don’t have to tell you

where I’ve been or why I am here

but that I’ve arrived

out of the cement tomb.

I see there are no distractions in the sky;

the rise and fall of my chest is all,

seas of breath and I am.


I know the scent of your skin,

the feel of your warm, bent back

beneath my body, I know necessity.


I will arrive

when I am not so afraid of myself.

When I am not so sick.

I will cross into the motherland.

I will go home.

I will leave what I’ve built behind and

I will take my place

among the living.


I can hear you beyond this room.






5 thoughts on “Beyond the Border/Hamsa

  1. Hi Amy – Anne Sexton wrote of that rowing toward God that had to flow through so many “pestilential” rooms to arrive there, and this conversation with mother, or the Mothers (for me a Godhead, for sure), has work to do, difficult degrees to perambulate and cross and transgress and imbibe and transcribe. All are necessary, and possible too–if one believes that on the other side is a welcoming mother, or God. That’s a belief that is built poem by poem, day by day, don’t you? I have a water bride who is both my mother as I remember her standing over me at the sea when I was a baby — her voice blent with the water — and my ocean deity, whoever beckons me to the next poem. Keep it up, girl. There’s always a next door in the dream of the life.



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