The Fissure People
by Khalil Elayan
A fissure in the gorge
was the last thing I expected but
as the water issued forth
in a whirlpool of decadent clarity
I felt the suffering of centuries in a place
called the tear duct of infinite sorrow
by a tribe that predated the Cherokee.
Tadpoles the color of kidneys
underwater skipped away from my
wading legs that knew not their
trajectory in swirling waters that
superseded my own force. This is where
nature rewrites my history, where it
erodes as it evolves.
Geology says the Appalachians are
older than the Rockies and I quiver at the path
an ancient arrow arched its way towards
deer or elk. It is written in stone
how old the dead may be and how little
the living remember of ancient cracks in
The arrow finds its home in the base of my
memory tacking a hieroglyph from regretful spirits
in the spectrum of a sleepwalker coming to drink
from the source.
Khalil Elayan is a Senior Lecturer of English at Kennesaw State University, teaching mostly World and African American Literature. His other interests include finishing his book on heroes and spending time in nature on his farm in north Georgia. Khalil’s first poem “Sana’a Sunrise” (https://www.tribes.org/web/2019/1/31/sanas-sunrise) was recently published in A Gathering of the Tribes magazine, while his most recent two poems “Broken Bird” and “Sometimes I Feel Like Darth Vader” have been published in Dime Show Review and About Place Journal, respectively; one of his essays appears in the book Teachers as Avatars: English Studies in the Digital Age published by Hampton Press, Inc. He has also written two journalistic essays covering the Arab Spring.