The Sky Speaks to the Ground and We Are All Buried

This was the most intensive and extensive collaboration I’ve ever done for ISSUE. For two months, my friends Dhiyanah Hassan, Syazwina Saw and I had a series of conversations around the themes of hunger, homesickness, rootlessness, yearning, and the ravenouse, gnawing, dangerous desire to be “anywhere but here.” We turned these conversations into a long collaborative poem, which we then recorded together, before tying the whole piece together with personal solo pieces based on the sky, the things that grow in the earth and things under ground. Illustrations for the whole piece were done by the talented Dhiyanah Hassan. Published in ISSUE #15: HUNGER.

Read the full piece here. Find the rest of my work for ISSUE Magazine here.

The sky quit on me, eventually. Or maybe I quit on the sky. I rocketed back to everything I tried to leave, planted like a remade seed, sucked in. My eyes to the mocking blue that spat me out like a curse, I tried to grow.

I tried to reconnect to the dirt, as if it even wanted me, the dirt that did not blink twice when I said goodbye, that first time and all the times since.

Now suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to eat dirt, to swallow it in gulping lumps, to fill my belly with mud, to return to the clay of my flesh. The dust held secrets to everything I had never cared about before and I was a chastened heathen looking for religion.

But faith does not grow on trees.

Trust me, I would know.