Fathom Mag

Illegal Crossings

**Fathom Poetry Contest Winner**

Published on:
August 1, 2023
Read time:
2 min.
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I once had a tree in the yard of a house.
On the tree was a swing and on the

swing was a child, lovely
as rain on the foxglove. Since 1070

the Crab Nebula has been exploding
but no one I know feels the tremors

or sees the sun dust on our lashes
charged with years of light.

Even something firm like brick
is now air, at once defying, twice

needing gravity.
Home is somewhere 

I cannot return.
If only I could wrap myself in 

anonymity like a birthright
melting cruciform into an opaline 

sea, a rotifer suspended, awaking,
a thousand years unsure 

where I start and end,
and the waves lapping their song, 

one of us, one 

of us, one of

of us, for all

Desert Flowers

Should I lie or tell the truth
when she asks why the flowers 

are wilting at double speed
in her gray fiddlehead fist?

Her changeling voice becomes an echo of

the desert flowers, lonely
prayers, confetti over an unmarked grave

Dear God, she says, Let
My Flowers Live

She tucks the blooms into my wallet
and sleeps, the scent of the womb still clinging 

plucked, held, pressed to one
only four years out from eternity 

bound to return
in the hollow of a seraphim’s wing.

Burial Song

We buried her in a small box
that sank into a hole. 

Freedom and death
share in common someone

If they ask me why I’m here
I’ll show the dirt on my hands

like a thousand miniscule keys
stolen and wedged beneath my nails 

proving for another day
I belong to this grief. 

If you squeeze a human heart
hard enough you’ll get a song.

I can sense now a sea
of words swelling 

the sound of a distant quartet in the park
Borodin maybe, the remembrance of 

beauty, the utterly wasteful
and only sure thing. 

Everything I wanted to say—
I carry it in my body.

Sara Kyoungah White
​Sara Kyoungah White is a writer captivated by unlikely connections and the paradoxes of faith. Her articles, essays, and poems have appeared in EkstasisFathomEcoTheo Review, Christianity Today, and many others.

Cover image by Annie Spratt.

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