Excerpt from Your Body Is the Ocean by Kama La Mackerel

Poet name: Kama La Mackerel Poem Name: Excerpt from Your Body is the Ocean Poem: so make friends with your bones soak them overnight in coconut oil wrap them in banana leaves polish them under the moonlight rub salt inside of your pores encrust the cracks in your skin your scars & imperfections dried fruit crystallized on a copper platter yielded to surya for preservation offer your earthy armour to the open skies let the burn of salt purify your pain the rawness of tears purge your wounds the churn of waves cleanse your island body dig mountains with the edges of your hipbones sculpt temples from the softness of your lips make homes for the sacredness of your stories your body is home your body is an island your body is home your body is the ocean you are the Child of lineages of ceremonial femmes who dreamt you up reshaped the universe so they could give birth to you gift celebration promise pact omen earthen lamp on your ancestors’ altar molten lava exploding in the belly of a volcano roaring fire at sunset echoes of ravann maravann triang crakma dibwa kyape brile lafime ki pe monte lao kot nu bann ancet kot nu al rod nu ban zistwar ban gran dimunn ki ti refiz disparet ban zom-fam kinn continyer viv dan nu leker kinn continyer viv dan nu lavenn there are languages you do not yet speak words you do not yet know music you have never heard magic you have never felt but you will learn that they have been with you within you all this time which is why i am here to tell you Child you will not learn to love yourself but i am learning to love you End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Kama La Mackerel Published in ZOM-FAM (Metonymy Press, 2020). Kama La Mackerel is a Montreal-based Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. Kama’s work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and self- and collective-empowerment. They believe that aesthetic practices have the power to build resilience and act as resistance to the status quo, thereby enacting an anticolonial praxis through cultural production. Kama has exhibited and performed their work internationally and their writing in English, French and Kreol has appeared in publications both online and in print.