C A R O L Y N S U P I N K A | Monsoon 2014
Banana Leaf Scriptures
We remember droughts
differently. The last time you had thirst,
my sand garden flourished. Populated
by jeweled people and shy crabs, we had
a really good year, people, profits are high
and we collected so many enemy heads.
Keep it up. This cyclical life of waves crashing
and money counting suited me and the birds
who heckled the stragglers and spat forecasts
from their birdteeth. This might have been a drought
but I remember only the beautiful jeweled people
and miles of sand, and prophecies raining from the sky.
It was always the same prophecy, the one that went
“It’s all happening all over again!” That was comforting.
Some things you only believe when they’re spat at you
from the sky. It’s a system. It works and we flourished
and I don’t remember any drought. I don’t remember
anything but the flourishing, the jeweled people blinking
their perfect eyes, waiting for more omens, I don’t remember
wanting anything but the next day to come,
I didn’t know what thirst was
until you showed up, and started asking for water.
The Fortune Tellers Swarm The Beach
To be driving at night through a field of tall oats.
To be wringing the water from your dress hem,
choking a monsoon. To be wearing silk, the mongoose
presents a liquid trail across the red clay. Silver.
To be aware of the movement.
You know what color it is
before the tinny whistle of the horizon.
Disappearance is casual among friends.
The absence of any sound is heard
and duly noted. Records kept in some dusty tomb,
an animal burrow. I breathe in dust, my lungs
a particle memory sieve. To be comparing moons
is to reveal the game plan. I picture mine as last night’s,
a shock of orange, hung dumb and blind, half its head
lopped off. An orange haze bleeding thickly
into the stratosphere. Such violence in the stars.
It’s hard not to predict when all the world
seems to scream your name.
It’s natural to admire the body of a god
when his eyes are closed. I am a holy voyeur.
The presence of saints makes me forget
my pronouns. Frozen and guilty, I whittle myself
down to my petticoat, and his wife
is dragged away by demons.
Carolyn Supinka is a visual artist and writer currently based in Washington, D.C. Her work seeks to insert poetry and art into the everyday through performances and public poetry installations, through which she investigates the shifting relationships between people, space, religion, and identity. From August 2013 to May 2014 she was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Pondicherry, India, where she worked on various poetry and art projects investigating modern day spiritual journeys and cultural exchange. Her interviews have been published at Sampsonia Way Magazine, The 22 Magazine, and Her Royal Majesty, and her poetry has been published at Bodega Magazine, The Allegheny Review, and Fjords Review, among others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013. Please see her website for more work: