Home > Poetry > Sonnet for Obatala
Published: Wed Apr 15 2020
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
AGNI 91 Mental Health Nature Spirituality
Sonnet for Obatala

creator of Earth, sculptor of mankind

My head is yours. The amount of its heaven,
its lightness under any given thoughtspell.
The rest of me, too—the little I love of living
folded behind my knees—padre, I can feel it
weathering. Today I am the same age Goethe was
when he fell in love with a woman’s bruised eye.
She saw white where there wasn’t, and then everything
became fraught with shine. Tell me, was she to argue
with light? This all started with a hen spreading dirt
atop the sea, we take shape because the continents
need swelt. It is nice to be needed. Wanted, though,
that is its own suffering. In the evening, I learn
a fox can hear a clock ticking from forty yards away.
I am so endable, and yet, I am kept.

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Leslie Sainz’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilatAGNI, NarrativeBlack Warrior ReviewNinth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry ReviewThe Journal, and elsewhere. A 2019 National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received scholarships and fellowships from CantoMundo, The Miami Writers Institute, The Adroit Journal, and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. She is a first-generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami. (updated 4/2020)

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