My cadastre of flesh
dissects me right to the bone,
Khal luster, eyes lined in khol.
And a virgin’s red nails
will arrange the sky
with a pure and transparent sunset.
Will you find surveyors
to measure the depths of tidal bores,
among your steamer trunks of salt?

Illustration: Ansellia Kulikku.

Khal Torabully

Khal Torabully, from Mauritius, writing in French and Mauritian Creole, is a prize-winning poet, essayist, film director, and semiologist who has authored some twenty-five books, and coined the term “coolitude,” much in the same way that Aimé Césaire developed the concept of negritude. In 2014, UNESCO officially approved the International Indentured Labour Route Project, and Torabully is a key part of this endeavor.

Nancy Naomi Carlson

Nancy Naomi Carlson has received grants from the NEA and the Maryland State Arts Council, and has authored three books of poetry and five books of translations, including Hammer with No Master, translations of René Char, which was a finalist for the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Poetry Award.