after a while all lakes look the same, by A. Martine


i can’t find my footing || here || where the soil is always moving || wavelength surfing || tried to make sense of the panorama of homes || gyrating color like a fan || needle never settling too long on one place || humid craving in Dakar and muted radiance in Maryland || smoky wetness in Gabon || beats away the plump soils of Naivasha || i hope i never sound thankless for the panorama || but i have angered restlessness ||  made wanderlust escapism’s pretext || i can’t find my footing || let me remain somewhere where i am seated back fully to backrest || not with foot pointed outward || fingers grasping wood || just in case || to steady a runner’s stance || let me find it in myself to hold  || the notion || without shame or fear || that turns to hollow swagger || the sound of my sickness is not given weight here || because it is a bird that awaits permission || to settle || home || and i have yet to deliver || i hang over blush-colored Lake Retba || and i compare it to Lake Michigan and Lake Potomac || although i haven’t seen the one in years || and the other since i was three || after a while all lakes look the same || constance only in my hatred for the sun and my yearning for the violent sea and my resentment of those who would argue those dogmas with me || heartsick || homesick || both strangers || bitterly familiar all the same || when did i stop saying thank you || probably when i realized || that motion would never stop claiming me || the same that makes me wake in one place || heart asleep somewhere i’ve never been || it is not just a motion of the body || the body can settle || the soul-sickness || once it tastes of wildness || once it believes home can be found and made there || it never stops its sailing


—Published 14th of April 2020


About A. Martine 

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist of color who travels with the waves, an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and a Managing Editor/Producer of The Nasiona. Her collection AT SEA was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. @Maelllstrom/