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FOREFIT by Janavi Held

Sometimes in dreams it seems as if ancient memories roam through my consciousness, exposing the temporary identity I call my: self.  

This poem explores that identity and my true spiritual identity, and it asks the question how did I get where I am today?

Photographic art by the author, Janavi Held

by Janavi Held

Her solitude wraps round her
like a lover, like God,

like an illness and its remedy,
like shattered stone,

like insatiable waves,
like the blunt flash of electricity

splintering the sky.
As her discarded heart fractures

wet hands of ruined fears
reach for the only One who will listen

the One who hears 
when all humans are dead,

when oxygen stops breathing,
and humiliated gravity has lost her power.

It is in this death of family
and all things impersonal

that she is seen at last
reaching for the invincible echo

as she trembles with ending stories,
personalities, and discarded treasures

she can no longer remember why
her eyes and hair are brown

why she chose the burgundy curtains
that hang in her bedroom

or why she prays for sleep on endless nights.
She can no longer see

her mother’s face in her eyes
nor hear her father’s deep voice in her mind

she can’t imagine who this is
as she stares at her reflection,

as she gazes through a pane of glass
at the blistering night sky

the history of the earth

in her solar plexus,
drops from her hands,

secretes from her skin
splintering, dripping

and mixing
with rock,

and thoughts,
and time

and still she can’t
remember a believable history,

can’t imagine

she forfeited
the eternal sky.

Photographic art by Janavi Held

Janavi Held is the author of Letters to my Oldest Friend: A Book of Poetry and Photography. She has also contributed poems to two poetry anthologies, Bhakti Blossoms: A Collection of Contemporary Vaishnavi Poetry and GODDESS: When She Rules: Expressions by Contemporary Women. Two of her poems were shortlisted for the prestigious Hamilton House International Poetry Prize awarded by the University Centre Grimsby, and published in their anthology "Eternal". Janavi started writing poetry and wandering around with her father’s camera as a child. At the age of nineteen, she began practicing Bhakti yoga. She held a bachelor’s degree from Goddard College where she studied poetry, photography, and media studies. She passed away peacefully in December of 2018 after having battled a brutal illness. You may read more of her poems and view her artwork on her website here and Facebook page here

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