Self Possession
Suzanne Ondrus

Her mind was always obsessed by a desire for a distant country, burning in her, solid like bronze, she traveled forward.
—Vivian Dargan
The origins of possession
are deep in our personal soil,
planted and watered by nymphs
behind the sun. While we sleep
they mix the seeds up and we watch
what grows. This is the origins of love
potions. Love then makes its rounds,
driving forward, cradling us in its elliptical
arms. A mind on an unnamed country.
Bronze magnetic calling.
Orange puddles reflecting yellow and green trees
and the vultures glaring to separate the visible
strong embrace. A distant country speaking
through years, visions of vibrant sun and dried land.
A distant country holding me with its red soil,
tam tams, calabash, and backwards steps from graves.
The chanting carrying me forward,
coating my feet red, filling the circle,
making motion while standing still,
solid on ground, free from flight.
In the equatorial sun my shadow was burned.
I learned to laugh at myself, riding round the karite tree,
speeding away from a small squealing monkey,
that gnashed green fruits and spat them at my wheels
ripping by. I continued on the beaten circular path.
In my memory this is freedom—
in the sounds between me and the monkey,
in the death of the eaten fruit, in the way the soil rose up
as the wheels turned over and over.

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