Palahe Pala

​Here we have a jigsaw puzzle,
a picture of the body—
bone and fat, muscle and bone,
blood (salty with the ocean’s taste.

As you know, the ocean lives inside us,
has never left us, waits for us to return to it.
But this puzzle—corner pieces of hair
and fingernail, sole of foot, teases us.

Somewhere, in the middle,
is the cycle of breath we have come
to depend on. Somewhere near the top—
see the rounded pieces with blue edges—
is the brain, the organ
of anger, abuse, and absolution.

The trick is to find the strange shapes,
which, when put together, make up the heart.
What emerges is both mythic and real.

It is the home of our prodigal affections,
the housing of our christened spirits
before the body was even born.
What is it, who is it put this puzzle
on the card table in the spare room?

Is it some great spirit—untouchable,
fearsome, empty of everything but love for us?

Who waits for us to put it together
then return to our own creation?

We ache to see the whole picture.
We want to know how long it lasts,
this mystic completeness,

so we put the pieces together slowly,
tentatively, to reveal an image
that, at last, is neither here nor there.


Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is Blues for French Roast with Chicory, now available from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE ( from Deerbrook Editions), and Take the Long Way Home (Unsolicited Press). She is also the author of Where it Goes (Deerbrook Editions). Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions) and Running Like a Woman With Her Hair on Fire: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press). She has been included in “The Sixty Four Best Poets of 2018” (Black Mountain Press/The Halcyone Magazine editorial staff). She has been widely published in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. Passionate in her love for Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.

Gunjan Bhardwaj is a 22 year old computer engineering from india who enjoys painting and sketching.