Home In Memory & Time
A mini-collection of poems re-imagining the concepts of home and family where all the gritty bits are golden.
Self Portrait with a Time Capsule she’s buried out back. the dirt, rich and soft and brown hands are all she knows. her rough palmed caretakers and charges. within her, are their beings and the ones before them and before them before the motherland bore children. back when blood watered the crops. and now when blood fills her home, the contents stay clean: mango fields and fish markets, worn Catholic school uniforms, plane tickets: Delta lands in New York City, the apartment in the projects, nine bodies sound in a bed, bannann for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the cheapest crop for a one paycheck household, enroll in American public schools, embrace The Dream instead of your dreams, shift to code switch and re-bury the time capsule. dirt is nothing but matter to her, for she houses time.
To Praise My Mother’s Hands My mother is an unwilling leftie. Her right, dominant hand learned gravity from a water pump. Yet, when she writes, pen grasped in weaker hand, she orchestrates lines and loops into letters and words. My mother’s hands are rough in all my memories her grip is stone as we cross the street her pinch extra sharp when I sass her a bit too much. Her hands are the kindest I know. Her sandpaper palm leaves goosebumps on my forearm, Steady against trembling shoulders. Her fingers, bony and long, Spring to life once the beat drops. Her palm, slathered with Vicks, Rocks my chest with its rubs. With those hands she hugs, With those hands she heals, With those hands she binds a home just with her love.
Home cannot be a poem Like a wailing baby, home’s hunger only grows with each stanza platter & notch on the door frame. It knows its power. Home is simpler and harder. Draining and restoring. Held together with glue that never lasts since missing the idea and not the person is the greatest dissolver. In sweaty palms, home tears like paper. The pieces get sucked in by an oscillating fan and carried away by chance senseless and splintered into the hands of hurt people who hurt; loved people who love; selfish selfless people; greedy starving people; the heavenly devoted who confuse me since faith never found me like it found them. Home is not a stadium of people but a shoe box of people, who when separate, meld into city insignificance, but together, redefine the confinements of a bleeding heart.
At first, I wasn’t sure what the main theme of this collection would be. Luckily, my freshman year of college ended up being underscored by the concepts of family, home, and belonging. From experiencing loss to adapting to new environments, I found myself looking closer into my familial bonds and finding a new appreciation for them. Unintentionally, this bled into my poems. The accompanying art pieces each align with an individual poem. Each piece aims to bring the figurative language to life, bringing attention to some of my favorite lines in each poem. The visual pieces are a mix of watercolor, colored pencil, marker, and photographs — a coming together of different mediums.
Kilhah St Fort is an outspoken girl, who can often be found listening to either Broadway musicals or lo-fi beats. One of her favorite pastimes is binge-watching cartoons. Kilhah documents her world and the world around her through poetry while creating new ones through prose. She's passionate about a bunch of things but most importantly, advocating for the representation of underrepresented communities in spaces they are historically forgotten about.