Recollection (2019 Contest Winner)

― begins at late morning, when bruise corals sea

-rch. A greenland shark carries four hundred years

of your memory. You are historied,          (calcium) 

in its ocean flesh. Yesterday,  I swam towards you

breastroke ― dove against absence and riptide

to the crest of a billow where I thumbed

your heaving pulse; held my breath and counted

the swell of its pace       /past. I am counting still.

                    Tomorrow,

the drums will call for us. They will rhythm

to the wet sound of the word ancestor, and We

will sew salted memories into our waving temple,

the Atlantic,  until sand catalogues catch

moonlight on their ivory shivers. Archive arrives

after the body. Recollection: cast a scar into spectred

waters, watch purple wax from funeral to Black.


Fatima is a poet, artist & scholar thinking and being with Black eco-/hydro- poetics, prison abolition, and archival practice. She holds a BA in Social Anthropology and is pursuing her Ed.M in Arts
Education. She tweets @_baxna.