Monica Mody: What Was Alive
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Nervous System

Once in deep time


made a cut

And what was alive—vein
turned away from network

of aliveness
to go its own way

sleep away

Someone planted

cut thought in neural

network of Earth


to disrupt

pattern of life
walk away

Scythe did not know itself

or of what it was formed

black shadow figures

ran length of its blade

Turning to catch
slip of shadow
it only slipped
further and further

down the very cut it made



To freeze

To flee

To fight


To flee

To fight

To freeze


To fight

To freeze

To flee





of patterns


To freedom we will sing

from our bodies




A choice will make
the choice that was made


Could we choose

every time they say we must

believe exile & throw us into deep cut

to bob back

hold hands
hold eyes
hold light

light up enough to swim
shadows' teeth upon our skin


     let ourselves love, love
     only love

What will put us together again > what took us apart

Every moment, its still

swirling point—

heart of choice—

ours to feel, sweeten, heal

& again

Renewing glory as us
bursting now

Choosing point of power now

Monica Mody, PhD, is the author of KALA PANI (1913 Press) and two chapbooks. Her work also appears in Poetry International, Wyrd & Wyse, Eleven Eleven, Boston Review, The Volta, and Dusie, among other places. She has been the recipient of the Cultural Integration Fellowship Scholarship, the Nicholas Sparks Writing Fellowship, Naropa's Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship, and the Toto Funds the Arts Award for Creative Writing. Twitter: @monica.mody / IG: @monicamody