Sneha Subramanian Kanta


Julia Bethan

[in another language]

Sneha Subramanian Kanta

                                                            after Sappho
                                                            for amma and appa

let it be known
the source and tributary are same

later, memory
lumps of burning hay

tell me what you know about leaving
somebody will

turn at the same road
beside school and garden

with their hand full of grains
with their hand full of grains

another nameless dusk
passing over the Arabian Sea

last rowboats
dimly visible

at the sealine hem
you, reading

from a holy book
syllables as crisp as the oncoming rain.


                                                            after Sappho
                                                            for nani and nana

after thistle, summer
fuchsia sky waddling

into dusk like prayer;
murmurations release

someone has picked fallen roses
amid bilirubin shoots

under a silver magnitude of sunlight
a throb of brass arches over the stalks

again, I pass streams
of vacant lanes engulfed in bursts of fog

what touched me
was something soft, like a language

known by memory.

language does not wilt
like seasons

when I say शाम
the motion and परिभाषा liken

remember to stitch the windows open
with cloudlike curtains waving

before the last of light
brings a syntax of rain.


                                                            after Sappho

what if the body
           is not the body

                          corralling last fog
                                            into the autumnal?

           you’ve lit one more candle
           as the river sweeps

           (carried by the wind) leftover flicks of ash

and the last love letter
is written to oneself

(and) fireflies
offer light

             before the last dark


                          some are creating an altar
                          (even) through the ruins

Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a writer from the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. She is the recipient of the the 2021 Robert Hayden Scholarship at Stockton University. She has been awarded the inaugural Vijay Nambisan Fellowship 2019. She was the Charles Wallace Fellow writer-in-residence (2019-20) at The University of Stirling. She is the author of the chapbook Ghost Tracks (Louisiana Literature Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine, Waxwing Magazine, Pleaides, and elsewhere. Her poem was a finalist for the 2021 Frontier One Poem Prize. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal. Read more at