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Keisha-Gaye Anderson

Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a Jamaican-born poet, writer, visual artist, and media strategist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Gathering the Waters (Jamii Publishing 2014), Everything Is Necessary (Willow Books 2019), and A Spell for Living(Agape Editions),a multimedia e-book that includes music and Keisha’s original artwork, which received the Editors’ Choice recognition for Agape's Numinous Orisons, Luminous Origin Literary Award. Keisha’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published in national literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. In 2018,Keishawas selected as a Brooklyn Public Library Artist in Residence. Keisha holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from The City College, CUNY. Learn more about her at

Other Sagas on the Wind

Be who you want to be

but accept the weight

of the chapter you play

because this story

churns itself

on a rhythm

too big for your vision

an epic that

unfolds like a luminous bloom

seeding other sagas

on the wind

and you are the

living water

the catalyst

giving life

to shape

How many other worlds are


now, just a whisper

an idea

of a different way to be?

We star surfers

stretch ourselves

are not content to

to see from just one


are entangled

in a beautiful veil

hiding our own face

from memory

What can we next

dream into being?

What does a new story


Can it be a love

that doesn’t destroy

when it spins off kilter?

Will the smooth surface

of stillness become our mirror?

I Am the River that Stood Up

I am the river that stood up

and walked into a story

that called me by a song

sounding like my name

I stepped into

a saga cemented

by suffering

set in a loop

a lit fuse

to a bomb

that blows us to shards

whenever we try to remember

the route

that grew us

name the stones that

damned us

And who can stand up

as only half a thing?

We are an echo in our ancestors' ears

even now

because all that has happened

is happening


And they look out onto the unfathomable sea

for those dragged into its wake

by greed

bodies breaking onto shore

to seed another place

faces fading

melting into a mirage

that haunts the horizon

a half formed picture

dissolving with the day

an amnesia slowly

reforming the mind

But there is no time

and no end to water

It always finds itself again

becomes more

it is will

it will

spread out

sink into earth

shed the sediment

of small men

stomping through lives

led only by their own


Water has memory

will spring up into new stories

meander until

it works its way into cold sweat

at 2 a.m.

and fragments of a dream

a half remembered face

in the blur of unexpected tears

the smoky scent of embers

and pained feet

that transport you

from a New York City street

to Cairo

at the speed of thought

recalls the heaviness of a child

and breasts laden with milk

Trying to place the disjointed mosaic of me

looking for a pattern

waiting, listening

restless seeking

for someone

who knows how

to read the letters

put them all together

make them

make sense

And then I hear/feel

a kind of laughter

a patient something

that answers only to say,

when you are still enough

for the blue/green bird to bend

at you banks

for her morning drink

and watch her go off

to dance in the sky

then the constellation of journeys

through time

all the rivulets and waterfalls

that carve the worlds

from your mind

will come together

massive and shining

and show you her whole face

the very same you

you thought you misplaced The Shape of Sweetness

Sit here for a word

they say

and memory

undiscovered trickles in

a cool wind

gliding across my cheek

a rocking as if

on a gentle sea

heralds their message

mostly: keep going

and listen to us

with your whole body

Will you comply

this time?

Plug into a river story

flowing from a waterfall


a swirling blackness

that you know is home

I am still being born,

my ancestors say,

still opening my eyes

Help me bloom this life

into flight

unfurl like the shape

of sweetness


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